Jean Stafford: The Savage Heart

Charlotte Goodman, Author University of Texas Press $34.75 (416p) ISBN 978-0-292-74022-8
Although this intimately detailed literary biography doesn't quite pin down its subject, it inspires a desire to read Stafford's fiction ( The Mountain Lion , etc.), which has been reissued and rediscovered by a new generation of readers since her death in 1979. An embittered alcoholic, anorexic and neurotic, plagued by a sense of dislocation, Stafford portrayed characters trapped by their inner conflicts, particularly alienated women or young girls. Goodman, professor of English at Skidmore, argues that the writer's overidentification with a misogynistic father, her parents' troubled relationship and her uprooting from a beloved ranch in California contributed to her insecurity. These factors may also have affected her stormy first marriage to Robert Lowell; a third marriage, to New Yorker staff writer A. J. Liebling, was much happier. Goodman draws vital links between the life and art. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-292-73574-3
Open Ebook - 978-0-292-75974-9
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