Lives Like Loaded Guns
Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds
By Lyndall Gordon
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143119142, 512pp.)
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
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"Lives Like Loaded Guns...reads like a fabulous detective story...[Gordon] takes us into undiscovered territory." --The Washington Post
In 1882, Emily Dickinson's brother, Austin, began an adulterous love affair with the accomplished and ravishing Mabel Todd, setting in motion a series of events that would forever change the lives of the Dickinson family. Award-winning biographer Lyndall Gordon tells the story of the feud that erupted-and that still continues today. Making unprecedented use of letters, diaries, and legal documents, Gordon proposes a groundbreaking new solution to the secret behind the poet's insistent seclusion, presenting a woman beyond her time who found love, spirituality, and immortality all on her own terms.
The first major biography of Dickinson in nearly ten years, Lives Like Loaded Guns is a highly acclaimed story of creative genius, illicit passion, and betrayal that will forever change the way we view one of America's most important literary figures.
Lyndall Gordon's Lives Like Loaded Guns explores the family secrets of the reclusive 19th-century poet. Gordon theorizes that Dickinson may have been epileptic, and describes the multi-generational family feud over the posthumous publication of the poet's work. More at NPR.org
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