My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

Author:   Jenn Shapland
Publisher:   Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN:  

9780349015675


Pages:   288
Publication Date:   29 April 2021
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
The supplier is temporarily out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you on backorder and shipped when it becomes available.

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My Autobiography of Carson McCullers


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Overview

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-fiction How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered - an icon and idol - alongside your own? Jenn Shapland's celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America's most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love. Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a woman named Annemarie. Though Shapland recognizes herself in the letters, which are intimate and unabashed in their feelings, she does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Her curiosity gives way to fixation, not just with this newly discovered side of McCullers's life, but with how we tell queer love stories. Why, Shapland asks, are the stories of women paved over by others' narratives? What happens when constant revision is required of queer women trying to navigate and self-actualize in straight spaces? And what might the tracing of McCullers's life?her history, her secrets, her legacy?reveal to Shapland about herself? In smart, illuminating prose, Shapland interweaves her own story with McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of our nation's greatest literary treasures, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.

Full Product Details

Author:   Jenn Shapland
Publisher:   Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint:   Virago Press Ltd
Dimensions:   Width: 15.20cm , Height: 2.60cm , Length: 23.20cm
Weight:   0.380kg
ISBN:  

9780349015675


ISBN 10:   0349015678
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   29 April 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
The supplier is temporarily out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you on backorder and shipped when it becomes available.

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Reviews

Weird and un-categorisable (in a good way) * Guardian (Nonfiction to look out for in 2021) *


Weird and un-categorisable (in a good way) * Guardian (Nonfiction to look out for in 2021) * Weaves together biography and memoir . . . Shards of the author's own life glitter amid the story of McCullers's triumphs and struggles . . . A lively cast of walk-on characters includes Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Sitwell and Robert Lowell . . . But it is Shapland's identification with her subject that energises the book . . . Only an accomplished writer could marshal this tricky material in order to enmesh two stories. The reader sees McCullers afresh in these pages . . . The politics of female queerness are central to this book, and Shapland handles the subject adroidy. At the same time, this volume, which I admire and recommend without reservation, speaks clearly and universally of the human heart, and specifically of the human heart in conflict with itself -- Sara Wheeler * Literary Review * The truth about Carson McCullers, the great American gothic writer, is finally told . . . What makes this such an unusual work, far removed from conventional biography, is that it's as much Shapland's story as it is McCullers's. In the process of recasting McCullers, Shapland finds her own identity . . . My Autobiography of Carson McCullers is the result: impeccably young, modern and fresh, an assertion of lesbian liberation. Political and at times polemical, it's a call to arms to reappraise past lives . . . beautifully and sparsely written -- Melanie Reid * The Times (Ireland) * A very interesting and innovative work * Irish Times *


Weird and un-categorisable (in a good way) * Guardian (Nonfiction to look out for in 2021) * Weaves together biography and memoir . . . Shards of the author's own life glitter amid the story of McCullers's triumphs and struggles . . . A lively cast of walk-on characters includes Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Sitwell and Robert Lowell . . . But it is Shapland's identification with her subject that energises the book . . . Only an accomplished writer could marshal this tricky material in order to enmesh two stories. The reader sees McCullers afresh in these pages . . . The politics of female queerness are central to this book, and Shapland handles the subject adroidy. At the same time, this volume, which I admire and recommend without reservation, speaks clearly and universally of the human heart, and specifically of the human heart in conflict with itself -- Sara Wheeler * Literary Review *


Author Information

Jenn Shapland is a writer and archivist living in New Mexico. Her first book, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Lambda Literary award. Her essays have won a Pushcart Prize, a Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism, and a Howard Foundation Fellowship. She has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently writing a collection of essays called Thin Skin

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