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Through the Ivory Gate

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
A debut novel by the 1987 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. When a woman returns to her Midwestern hometown as an artist-in-residence to teach puppetry to schoolchildren, her homecoming also means dealing with memories of racism, rejected love--and truths about her family. Author readings.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 5th 1993 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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Jul 22, 2013 Elise rated it liked it
Some lovely language and wisdom here, but "Through the Ivory Gate" needed to be longer and further developed in order for it to be a substantial novel. As is, some of the characters' motives and relationships don't always make sense. However, I do have two favorite quotes (probably because I hate the desert heat of Arizona as much as protagonist, Virginia, does):

"But Virginia did not care for salty rivers. She did not care for warm weather. She did not want to eat grapefruit right from the tree
Mistinguette Smith
What I learned from this book: why great poets are not good novelists.
Kat Daley
Sep 05, 2014 Kat Daley rated it it was ok
It was an okay book, but there was something missing from it. It needed more feeling, but it did have a lot of insightful messages. I probably wouldn't recommended it to anyone unless you don't rely on predictable endings. Rita Dove was able to give us great description of the life Virginia King as though we were living as her.
May 23, 2014 Danna rated it really liked it
This good read is recommended for people who enjoy novels written by poets. The open ended resolve of the protagonist, Virginia King, may not be for readers who rely on predictable endings. However, the narrative flows brilliantly from the mind of the National Poet Laureate.
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Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and musician, lives in Charlottesville, where she is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.
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