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Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years Paperback – March 26, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Di Prima, perhaps the best known and certainly among the most talented of the beat generation poets, captures the heady atmosphere of New York's avant-garde community in the 1950s and 1960s, while rendering her own life with intimacy and grace. Born in Brooklyn in the mid-1930s, she remembers her Italian immigrant grandmother with great affection. But she describes frightening incidents from her earliest childhood: her father, a sullen, brooding, man, once beat her until her nose bled; her relationship with her mother was equally abusive. In elementary school, di Prima was bullied relentlessly; it was not until she entered Hunter High School for gifted students that she found a circle of friends; there, reading the great poets, she resolved to become a poet herself. Leaving Swarthmore College after what she perceived as unproductive years, di Prima returned to New York City, and embarked on an independent life as a writer. She describes her bohemian lifestyle love affairs with men and women, experiments with drugs with honesty and wit. Friend to many of the best known figures of the beat world, including Allen Ginsberg, Audre Lorde and LeRoi Jones, di Prima found fulfillment in her work as an editor and poet, and as a single mother. She tells her story well, skillfully interweaving events with lyrical commentary on her inner life.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Poet di Prima chronicled her reign as queen of the Beats in her famously explicit Memoirs of a Beatnik (1968). Here she presents an equally frank self-portrait but on a far grander scale, delving so deeply into her past she transcends the personal to illuminate the primal cultural and psychological issues of the fifties and sixties. She was born in New York in 1934 and survived a brutal home life. Precocious and already committed to the writing life as a teenager, she dropped out of college to live a bohemian life in which lovers of both sexes and artist friends of all kinds came and went in a great swirl of Eros and creativity. Experience was valued above security, art was sacrosanct, and women writers were expected to behave like men. But di Prima wanted a child. Her recounting of the dramatic events of her life are riveting in themselves--whether the topic is her struggle as a single mother and woman writer; or the pain and passion of her affair with Leroi Jones, father of one of her five children; or the difficulties of her marriage to a gay man--but, finally, it's di Prima's electrifying perceptions into the nature of sex and love, men and women, art and beauty, drugs and spirituality, and freedom and commitment that keep readers glued to the page. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.