Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds

Lives Like Loaded Guns by Lyndall Gordon
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Aug 22, 10

bookshelves: sept-oct-2010

Despite a host of books about Dickinson and her work, Lives Like Loaded Guns is full of surprises regarding the poet's life and influences. Although Gordon reaches for conclusions to some of the bigger questions--among them Dickinson's possible epilepsy, her love life, and the complicated relationship she had with her brother, Austin, his wife, and his mistress (who aspired to edit the poet's work)--the author's research into Dickinson's medical records and correspondence breathes fresh air into otherwise settled literary history. In the end, no one disputes that Dickinson lived largely in a world of her own making. So much the better, Gordon ably points out, as it was a place where she could practice art "made at the interface of abandon and decorum." This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.
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