From Publishers Weekly
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--Alex Beam, Boston Globe
A fascinating biography. . . . [H]er life, a largely grim drama . . . starred scores of characters -- patricians and poets, artists and activists, wannabes and wastrels, ad men and madmen.
--Pamela Miller Star Tribune
Janssen's sensitive biography should help restore Gardner to her rightful place in modern poetry. . . . [T]his exemplary biography provides fresh insight into recent American literary history. . . . Highly recommended --Carl Rollyson CHOICE
An engrossing window into the tumultuous life of an American poet. . . . [I]t will spark new and well-deserved interest in Gardner's . . . work. Autumn Arnold in Raffia: Magazine for Gender Studies
Marian Janssen has done an admirable job of compiling a life, but it is one that still raises many questions.
“A very well-written biography. A truly compelling story of a woman who both wants to live her own life and wants badly to please others, particularly men, particularly her husbands, and most particularly her fourth husband, Allen Tate—who betrays her in the end. Janssen’s portrait of Gardner is sympathetic, but it is not uncritical.”—Fred Hobson, author of Mencken: A Life
“This is a great biography that will give Isabella Gardner’s poetry the attention it has long deserved. Compellingly written, deeply researched, learned, lucid, funny, and wise, this book is more than a mesmerizing page-turner. It allows us to understand Gardner and her milieu with new specificity and insight. This is one of the very best biographies of a mid-twentieth-century poet yet written.”—Steven Gould Axelrod, author of Sylvia Plath: The Wound and the Cure of Words and coeditor of The New Anthology of American Poetry