From Publishers Weekly
Spahr's latest is a fascinating poetic memoir along the lines of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
, charting the personal and political transformation that is at the root of books like Spahr's tender, blistering This Connection of Everyone with Lungs
(2005). A prose work in nine parts (plus bibliographical afterword), the book covers the years 1997–2001, when Spahr's primary relationship expanded to include a third partner (forming what she, with wry, Stein-like splendor, refers to as a they); she entered the academic job market (with complicated results); and the excesses of the Clinton-Bush era transformed into the nightmare of 9/11. As the book unfolds, the three partners struggle to define their relationship to each other and, more awkwardly, to other people. Spahr's university job on an island in the Pacific enmeshes the three in the island's fraught race politics; they're on sabbatical in Brooklyn when 9/11 happens. Spahr, who has written about Stein, adapts Stein's repetitive, pronominally elusive style, but where Stein gossips and drops names, Spahr fugues and protects the innocent. That approach piques the desire for dish, and it keeps the focus on the anxieties, excitements and sly, trenchant analyses that the three experience and produce together. The result is a book as unique as it is beautiful. (June)
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About the Author
Juliana Spahr was born in Chillicothe, Ohio in 1966. Spahr received her BA from Bard College in Languages and Literatures and her PhD from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York in English. She has taught at Siena College (1996-7), the University of Hawaii at Manoa (1997-2003), and Mills College (2003-present). She co-edits the journal Chain with Jena Osman. Her books include The Transformation (Atelos, 2007), This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (U of California, 2005), things of each possible relation hashing against one another (Palm Press, 2003), Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You (Wesleyan U, 2001), Everybody's Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity (U of Alabama, 2001), and Response (Sun & Moon, 1996).