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Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Shelf "Must-Have"--Stealing the Language

Though published in 1986, Alicia Suskin Ostriker's Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women's Poetry in America (Beacon Press) is so vibrant--and I want to say--so necessary-- that it becomes more important--not less--as time goes on.

Because every now and then a book comes along which goes beyond itself and lives somewhere in the future where we have to think in double-time just to catch up with it. And on our journey towards it, we catch a glimpse of our literary future.

This is one brilliant book. If you do not own a copy, buy one now.

"In this major study, Alicia Suskin Ostriker probes the origins and meanings of contemporary women's poetry since the 1960's. Proposing that women writers must be "thieves of language," Ostriker traces the struggle of women poets today to achieve self-definition in the context of literary tradition designed to repress the female voice. Stealing the Language examines this new poetry in relation to its female roots and as a powerful alternative to academic modernism and postmodernism, loking at the poetics of the body, of anger and violence, of "the imperative of intimacy," and of revisionist mythmaking in women's poetry."

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