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Prose Paperback – February 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0374532734 ISBN-10: 0374532737 Edition: Reissue

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reissue edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374532737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374532734
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The most exciting part of the Bishop reissue project may be this volume, which contains all of the prose published in her lifetime, as well as a few hard to find things and a thing or two you won't find anywhere else. As a frequent contributor to the New Yorker (the poet's decades-long relationship with the magazine is brought to life in The Complete Correspondence) and other publications, Bishop crafted all kinds of prose, from autobiographical short stories ("In the Village") to loving reminiscences ("Efforts of Affection: A Memoir of Marianne Moore"); she was as original a prose writer as she was a poet, an under-known fact this volume may help solidify once and for all. The real gem of this book is "Brazil," a book-length essay on Bishop's adopted homeland, whose published version, which came out as a Time-Life guide, Bishop hated. Here we have her original draft, written in her inimitable style: "The history of South America in the nineteenth century resembles Shakespeare's battle scenes: shouts and trumpets; small armies on stage, small armies off stage..." Take that, Lonely Planet! (This title is also available with Poems as a hardcover boxed set, , ISBN 978-0-374-12558-5.) (Feb)
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“It is no exaggeration to say that these stories will be read beside her poems, as Keat’s letters are beside his . . . ‘The Sea & Its Shore’ and ‘In Prison’ [are] worthy of Kafka or Poe.” —David Kalstone, The New York Times Book Review

“A stunning collection. . . . These are the kind of stories you should linger over, savor, and rediscover again and again.” —Elin Schoen, Mademoiselle

“A record of merciless observation, full of surprises both tragic and comic . . . Again and again, in these pages, it is the precision that astonishes . . . So often what Bishop gives us are these small, exact glimpses of the mundane, shorn of all rhetorical indulgence. But when looking is thus transformed, will any word but ‘vision’ do?” —April Bernard, Newsday

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cavedave on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was recently introduced to the poetry of Bishop and then learned that she was equally as great as a prose writer. I wanted a companion edition to the Amazon book,Poetry,by Elizabeth Bishop and found this 500-page bargain edition at the Amazon website. This is a valuable adition to my library and is an important reference book for anyone who want to read great prose or who want to attempt to write great prose. You won't be disappointed!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gelica215 on May 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
"In the Waiting Room" takes place in a dentist office. For most people a dentist office is not a fun place to be, but for many people it is just a chore that needs to be done. As a kid a dentist office might be filled with screams and horrible memories , perhaps what Bishop is recalling is a childhood memory. A majority of Bishop's poems are written about her personal experiences. The reader knows this is probably a young girl, a young Bishop, because the character refers to adults as "grown up people"( 8). Normally adults do not refer to other adults by a name like that. Another hint that this poem is from a childhood memory is when the National Geographic magazine first appears Bishop writes "I could read" as if this is an accomplishment the reader should be astonished by. Of course to a child being able to read is a skill to be proud of and a child would note this in his or her writing.
As for "Visits to St. Elizabeths" the setting is a hospital. Once again hospitals are not a fun, cheerful place to be.A way this poem contrasts from the other is instead of a child character, this poem includes a grown man, a "tragic"(5) "old" (11) man. The phrase "wearing the watch/that tells the time" (18-19)is repeated throughout the poem. This phrase is significant because many people who are in hospitals are there for reasons that may take their life away. Bishop may be using this setting to create a moral: for people need to realize time is limited.
I found both these poems to be patricianly interesting because "In the Waiting room", even the title is hinting at time, is about a childhood memory and "Visiting St. Elizabeths'" is about a grown man. The poems have such a difference in age yet both include time.
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