From a conversation with T. The idea of working on a single creative project for 13 years is hard to imagine. What sustained you during those years? I would say Book of Mutter has been a sort of love affair and also represents the agony of my trying to be a writer.
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Reviews The book is startlingly insightful. The Millions For anyone interested in the present and future of literature, Heroines is required reading, and rereading.
Liz Baudler Examiner. A scholarly treatise for readers who never cared about scholarship, and a memoir for those who have had enough with the insularity of simple confession, Heroines synthesizes the raw passion of a diary with the relevance and scope of nothing less than the history of literature.
Gina Frangello The Rumpus Heroines reads with an almost physical urgency, as though written in a hot, hot heat, as Zambreno tangles and untangles historic and fictional literary ladies Emma Bovary, Nicole Diver , all while chronicling her own creative frustration as she trails her husband from one backwater academic post to the next, trying to dig herself out of her own alienated funk. Martha Bayne Chicago Reader Heroines is part literary criticism, part literary history, part memoir, part feminist polemic.
Subashini Navaratnam Popmatters Zambreno stages an impassioned encounter between the medicalised lives of Jane Bowles, Vivienne Eliot, Zelda Fitzgerald and other Modernist wives and mistresses and her own struggles as a young woman and a writer. Brilliant and groundbreaking. David Kennedy Times Higher Education Heroines gives itself permission to be the kind of work of criticism that sometimes has tears in its eyes, that is a little red in the face by the end of the argument because it just loves the books so much; it is so invested.
It is these qualities that make the book feel vast, voluptuous, while at the same time focused. It is heavily researched, sharply observed. It Takes Up Space but it does so on its own terms. And that Zambreno sets this example and does so boldly is, for me, one of the most exciting things about the work. Zambreno admirably transforms copious research and personal experience into vernacular knowledge, then heats up the brew into a justified rant about dynamics that may have shape-shifted over the past years but have sadly not disappeared.
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