Monday, February 21, 2011

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson

About the Book: (taken from amazon)
The inner life of Emily Dickinson was creatively effulgent, psychologically pained and emotionally ambivalent, as reported by Charyn, who here inhabits the mind of one of America's most famous poets. Charyn parrots the cadent voice of razor-sharp Dickinson, beginning in her years as the tempestuous young lyricist who aims to choose my words like a rapier that can scratch deep into the skin. From the first page, witty Emily harbors conflicted feelings toward her female status: her esteemed father, the town's preeminent lawyer, adores Emily at home for her intellectual companionship, but also dismisses her formal education as a waste of money & a waste of time, and it's easy to see how Emily's poetic instincts are born from the shifting sensations of comfort and resentment brought by a childhood spent serenading Father with my tiny Tambourine. Emily's growth is brightly drawn as she progresses from petulant child to a passionate woman with a ferocious will and finally to that notorious recluse. However, while this vivid impersonation is a stylistic achievement, it's also confining and limits higher revelations. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Jerome Charyn's Bio:

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since the 1964 release of Charyn’s first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009.

In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn’s book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong."

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Awesome Video:

My Review:
This book was definitely a nice introduction to the life of Emily Dickinson. It's not a biography but a somewhat fictionalized version of her life, but I definitely think it
was a good way to get readers interested in the author. I've not read much..okay any of her work but after reading this story I've certainly become intrigued. I know that I have put
several of her works on my wish list!

It' wasn't hard for me to get caught up in the tale as it began I was fighting to find the time to read it! This is definitely a good story and I loved how close I began to feel with
Emily. Jerome Charyn is definitely talented and knows how to create a wonderful, flowing story. I was very much impressed with this book!
Although, I cannot remark on it's accuracy, but I can definitely say that this was a good story and can feel good about recommending it to any Emily fan!


Blog Tour web site:

Jerome Charyn's web site:

Jerome Charyn's Facebook:!/jerome.charyn

Jerome Charyn's Twitter:

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson Facebook:

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson Twitter:

W.W. Norton & Company web site:

Price: $14.95
ISBN: 9780393339178
Pages: 352
Release: February 14, 2011

Price: $24.95
ISBN: 9780393068566
Pages: 348
Release: February 22, 2010

Buy links:
Barnes & Noble

eBook buy links:

Amazon See Inside the Book


  1. Emily is proud to have another fan! Thanks for reading & enjoying this novel, and sharing it with your readers. Our goal over at Emily Dickinson's page is to make sure our favorite poet is read into the 21st century and beyond. And thoughtful readers like you make that happen.

  2. Thanks Melissa for the great review. I'm glad that you enjoyed the book and for hosting a stop on the blog tour.

    For all those who'd like to follow along, please hop on over to

  3. Thanks for the review! This has been on my TBR list for a while! Thanks! :)


Thanks for visiting!