Elaine Feinstein has always written most passionately about people. In this intimate collection, she remembers friends she has loved, writers she knows, and literary figures from the past. She writes of the Russian poet Bella Akhmadulna with tender admiration; the East End poet Emanuel Litvinoff, at work in his Bloomsbury flat; and Masha Enzenberger, who brought Feinstein into the Russian world of Marina Tsvetaeva. Feinstein imagines Raymond Chandler, Isaac Rosenberg, and Sylvia Plath, and she delights in Joseph Roth's melancholy wit and Disraeli’s nerve. There are a few sardonic self-portraits as well. In the last poem, "Death and the Lemon Tree," she finds a compelling image for the privilege of continuing to write into old age.
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Elaine Feinstein is a poet, a novelist, a biographer, and a translator. She has received many writing prizes, including a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, Wingate and Arts Council Awards, and the Daisy Miller Prize for her experimental novel The Circle. She serves on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, of which she is a fellow, as a judge and as chair of the judges for the T. S. Eliot Award. She is the translator of Marina Tsvetaeva's Bride of Ice: New Selected Poems and the author of Cities, It Goes with the Territory: Memoir of a Poet, and The Russian Jerusalem.Review:
"Like numerous English readers, I owe my discovery of Tsvetaeva to the multitalented poet and writer Elaine Feinstein . . . [whose] translations prove that a poem can be reborn in its adoptive language." —Carol Rumens, poet and former poetry editor, Quarto and Literary Review, on Bride of Ice
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