Before you pick up a Dickinson biography, read these Selected Letters. This collection takes you through Dickinson's life from with her most important...moreBefore you pick up a Dickinson biography, read these Selected Letters. This collection takes you through Dickinson's life from with her most important correspondences to friends and family. Thoughtful, humorous, passionate, and simply, purely Dickinson, these letters offer insights into the poet's life best experienced in her own words.
From Emily's hilarious, snappy Valentine letters, to her letters home from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, to her friendship with Susan Gilbert, to her mentor correspondence with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, to the mysterious "Master" letters, every major event in Dickinson's life is preserved in her unique letters. These letters will be an absolute delight to all who love Emily Dickinson.(less)
I approached this bio with skepticism and was surprised how much I liked it. Despite approaching Dickinson from a religious perspective, it is more an...moreI approached this bio with skepticism and was surprised how much I liked it. Despite approaching Dickinson from a religious perspective, it is more an exploration of her religious life than a religious angle on her life. In other words, Lundin does not try to prove that Dickinson was a Christian by contemporary evangelical standards--or that she wasn't.
Well-researched, interesting, and thought-provoking for a young Dickinson fan like myself, this book goes well alongside a general biography, like Alfred Habegger's My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson. In particular, Lundin takes an interesting view of Dickinson's refusal to publish, which is worth comparing with Habegger's view.
Kristin Kimball is a woman in command of her words. You should read this book, not just because the subject matter is interesting, but because Kimball...moreKristin Kimball is a woman in command of her words. You should read this book, not just because the subject matter is interesting, but because Kimball's prose is a pleasure to read. While not quite approaching the novelishness of such memoirs as Running with Scissors (in which the fictionesque tone actually casts doubt as to how much is true to life, especially in dialogue), Kimball's memoir is a rich piece of storytelling, achieving drama, humor, and even suspense - something uncommon to memoir.
The story itself will be both fascinating and sobering to anyone who has ever harbored romantic dreams of "living off the land." When other readers talk of wanting to farm after reading this book, I question how closely they actually read it. It's true that the Kimballs have made it seven years, and through much struggle are finding success, but if Kimball makes one thing abundantly clear, it's that there are no guarantees, not at the beginning and not after any number of successful years.
I finished the book certain that I didn't want to farm - but also enraptured with the story. The risks, terrors, agonies, and also joys of the first-generation farming life come to life in arresting detail.(less)