Monday, 13 June 2016

Review of A Loaded Gun by Jerome Charyn

Once again The Overnight Bestseller is pleased to host a stop in the Tribute Books Blog Tour and to review a work by Jerome Charyn.

Book Summary and Buy Links

We think we know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and
possibly mad. But in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to a different Emily Dickinson: the fierce, brilliant, and sexually charged poet who wrote:

My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun—

Though I than He— may longer live
He longer must—than I—
For I have but the power to kill,
Without—the power to die—

Through interviews with contemporary scholars, close readings of Dickinson’s correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly discovered photograph that is purported to show Dickinson with her lover, Charyn’s literary sleuthing reveals the great poet in ways that have only been hinted at previously: as a woman who was deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the world, attracted to members of both sexes, and able to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today.

A Loaded Gun Excerpt One:

A Loaded Gun Excerpt Two:

Prices/Formats: $11.99 ebook, $19.95 paperback
Genre: Literary Criticism
Pages: 256
Release: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Bellevue
ISBN: 9781934137987

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Bellevue Press buy link

Author Bio

Jerome Charyn was born and raised on the mean streets of the Bronx. He graduated cum laude from Columbia College. He has taught at Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, Rice, was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the City University of New York and is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the American University of Paris. Charyn is a Guggenheim Fellow and has twice won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His stories and articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, Esquire, American Scholar, New York Review of Books, New York Times, Ellery Queen and many other publications. Charyn's most recent books are The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, I Am Abraham and Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories. His latest book is A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century.

Our Review of A Loaded Gun

Jerome Charyn is an innovative writer whose passion for his subject matter--whether it be his native Bronx, Abraham Lincoln, or Emily Dickinson--is expressed in a style inimitably his own. In A Loaded Gun, as in I Am Abraham, Charyn has conducted extensive archival research to provide his own sense of the inner life of a gifted individual.  Rather than accepting what has been the conventional view of Emily Dickinson as an isolated woman crippled by agoraphobia and manipulated by a dominating father, Charyn sees her as a woman of passion and imagination who was very much in control of her own life. He describes her variously as "an alchemist," "an enchantress," and "a mistress of her own interior time and space".

A Loaded Gun and Charyn's previous work, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, are not only fascinating in their own right, but provide an opportunity for a new generation of readers to discover the poet and her impressive work.

A Loaded Gun will appeal not only to readers of poetry, biography, and literary criticism, but also to all those seeking a refreshing read on a "conventional" life.

For previous reviews of Jerome Charyn's works in this blog, please see Bitter Bronx , I Am Abraham, and Under the Eye of God.

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  1. Thank you so much for this - your review means more because we admire your work so much. We're delighted to post this on our FB page for Emily and hope even more of our members will also become fans of your wonderful book blog.

    1. It's always a pleasure to review Jerome's work. All the best!

  2. It's always a treat when two of my favorite authors discuss each other's work. Thanks Mike!

    1. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the blog tour, Nicole!