Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

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9780394575896: Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thirty years after the smashing success of Zelda, Nancy Milford returns with a stunning second act. Savage Beauty is the portrait of a passionate, fearless woman who obsessed American ever as she tormented herself.

If F. Scott Fitzgerald was the hero of the Jazz Age, Edna St. Vincent Millay, as flamboyant in her love affairs as she was in her art, was its heroine. The first woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, Millay was dazzling in the performance of herself. Her voice was likened to an instrument of seduction and her impact on crowds, and on men, was legendary. Yet beneath her studied act, all was not well. Milford calls her book "a family romance"--for the love between the three Millay sisters and their mother was so deep as to be dangerous. As a family, they were like real-life Little Women, with a touch of Mommie Dearest.

Nancy Milford was given exclusive access to Millay's papers, and what she found was an extraordinary treasure. Boxes and boxes of letter flew back and forth among the three sisters and their mother--and Millay kept the most intimate diary, one whose ruthless honesty brings to mind Sylvia Plath. Written with passion and flair, Savage Beauty is an iconic portrait of a woman's life.

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Review:

Fans of Zelda, Nancy Milford's groundbreaking (and bestselling) biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald's tortured wife and muse, have been waiting impatiently since 1970 for Milford's promised follow-up about poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). It's finally here, and they will not be disappointed. Milford's vivid narrative limns an electric personality with psychological acuity while capturing the freewheeling atmosphere of America in the turbulent years following World War I. After "Renascence" was published (when she was only 20) and she moved to Greenwich Village, Millay was the queen of bohemia, taking lovers with zest and voicing the reckless gaiety of a generation in her famous lyric, "My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends-- / It gives a lovely light." With her flame-red hair, milk-white skin, and a voice that thrilled audiences (making her poetry readings a welcome source of income), Millay was the archetypal "new woman": powerful, passionate, and not to be ignored. But Milford makes it clear that her first loyalty was to her mother and sisters, and her deepest commitment to her writing. This juicy chronicle has famous names aplenty--critic Edmund Wilson and Masses editor Floyd Dell were among the men devastated by her refusal to be faithful--and lots of dissipation: Millay drank heavily and became addicted to morphine. It also takes a perceptive look at how an artist draws material from her life and at the strategies she uses to protect the wellsprings of creativity. Brief passages interspersed throughout delineating Milford's interactions with Norma Millay, the poet's younger sister and literary executor, might have been self-indulgent and self-aggrandizing; instead they offer intriguing snapshots of the complex process by which biography is made. The resulting book is a tour de force, and wildly entertaining as well. --Wendy Smith

From the Back Cover:

"Nancy Milford has done it again. One seldom sees this level of brilliant, hands-on research in contemporary literary biography. The result is this compelling, keenly perceptive life of Edna St. Vincent Milay -- with its own 'savage beauty.'" -- Toni Morrison

"SAVAGE BEAUTY is irresistible, Nancy Milford gives us not only the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, but also her heart, her times, and the sparkling essence of her poetry."
-- Amanda Foreman

"Millay lives! And she casts a spell over the reader as mesmerizing as her poetry. Nancy Milford has done it again -- and ZELDA has met her equal."
-- Bill Moyers

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Milford, Nancy
Editore: U.S.A.: Random House (2001)
ISBN 10: 039457589X ISBN 13: 9780394575896
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Descrizione libro U.S.A.: Random House, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition...... 6624 Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Codice libro della libreria 3B-56-B

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Descrizione libro Random House, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M039457589X

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Descrizione libro Random House 2001-09-04, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 1st. 039457589X We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Codice libro della libreria TM-039457589X

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Descrizione libro Random House, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P11039457589X

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