By Amy Gerstler
(Penguin Books, Hardcover, 9780140589245, 96pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2000
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Amy Gerstler has won acclaim for complex yet accessible poetry that is by turns extravagant, subversive, surreal, and playful. In her new collection, Medicine, she deploys a variety of dramatic voices, spoken by such disparate characters as Cinderella's wicked sisters, the wife of a nineteenth-century naturalist, a homicide detective, and a woman who is happily married to a bear. Their elusive collectivity suggests, but never quite defines, the floating authorial presence that haunts them. Gerstler's abiding interests--in love and mourning, in science and pseudo-science, in the idea of an afterlife--are strongly evident in these new poems, which are full of strong emotion, language play, surprising twists, and a wicked sense of black humor.
Amy Gerstler is a writer of fiction, poetry, and journalism whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including the Paris Review and Best American Poetry. Her 1990 book Bitter Angel won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Previous titles from Penguin are Crown of Weeds, 1997, and Nerve Storm, 1993.