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Rodent Angel Paperback – March 1, 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Winner of the 1995 Mamdouha S. Bobst Poetry Award, this selection of poems, Weinstein's first, is a raw, brutal look at a childhood filled with sexual and physical abuse. In language that is at times lyrical, at times harsh, the poet's vivid, exact images conjure pictures of wrenching violence and betrayal. Much of this material is captured in repeating images of dead rats on urban streets and a child's recollection of a poisoned squirrel whose babies are pulled from their nest in the attic. "The year of the infestation/ my grandfather exposed/ the metal tooth/ underneath his pants... That summer/ my father buried/ the baby squirrels alive..." But within Weinstein's dark vision, there is also room for moments of beauty and grace. She chronicles love and betrayal between women and moves into a present in which she awaits the birth of her daughter, the emphasis shifting to a buoyant hope for a redeeming future.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Debra Weinstein's Rodent Angel is a beautifully crafted book.”

-The Lesbian Review of Books


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 75 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081479307X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814793077
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,007,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
...Seems to me, these days, there are so many literary awards out there that all one has to do is come up with a manuscript, pay the appropriate entry fees, and you're bound to walk away with an award or two. It might not be the Pulitzer or the National Book Award, but there's something out there for just about everyone. In this case, Debra Weinstein's collection Rodent Angel won the Mamdouha S. Bobst Literary Award (or the Elmer Holmes Bobst Literary Award, depending on whether you're reading the cover or the awards page), presented to "individuals who have brought true distinction to the American literary scene." It then goes on to list a few of the former recipients, including Toni Morrison, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, and Edward Albee, among others. The three winners for 1996 were Weinstein (poetry), Lori Baker (short stories), and Don Judson (novella). I doubt anyone is likely to equate the three latter names with the four former, on the scale of literary and popular reputation. Having now read Weinstein's spare collection for the second time, I can see where the comparison might well be warranted from a strictly empirical point of view.
Winstein's poetry is a powerful thing, full of visceral images that practically steam off the page:
...I remember fearing
it would coast down Broadview Drive
with me in tow, fearing
the squirrel who would
climb into a carriage and suck
a baby's face
for milk....
Put enough of this together in a manuscript, even if that manuscript is only seventy-two pages long, and it's bound to make an impression. Certainly, in its darkness, comparisons to the work of Oates are warranted.
Weinstein's weakest point is in repetition.
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By A Customer on March 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a very brave and daring book which is terse and also quite eloquent. I wholeheartedly recommend.
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