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Alice's Sister, Poems by Jessica Young
We have all imagined it--our daytime activities reappear, twisted, in our dreams at night. What, then, drove Alice to dream of bodily distortions and dangerous adults? What is happening in her waking life to cause this darkness? Reimagined using details from Carroll's original work, Jessica Young's collection Alice's Sister focuses on Alice's older sister, Mary, and the trouble she faces--the quiet, shadowy disturbances--that affects everyone around. It seems the rabbit hole goes much farther down than we thought. Employing ambitious writing techniques such as rotating narrators, Young invites us in for the descent.
"In this haunted reimagining of a Victorian children's book, wonderland conceals a darker story. Jessica Young writes with uncanny precision about the most occluded reaches of the heart. The breadth of compassion in these poems is all the more remarkable because of the clarity with which they make their case: that innocence is a dangerous fantasy imposed upon the young."--Linda Gregerson
"Jessica Young's first collection takes us so far beyond the looking glass, it's a reluctant surprise to return to the world upon putting it down. We have here a young poet fully formed. Her voice is sure when it needs to be, and full of fear and questioning when that's called for. She has invented an entrancing time and place, and peopled it. But, although this collection has some of a fiction's best elements, this is song. Musical, all-encompassing. These poems call up for me all of my favorite poets, but Jessica Young sounds like no one else I've ever read."--Laura Kasischke
"If you thought there was nothing else to say about the Alice in Wonderland story, think again. Jessica YOung has taken on a detective-poet's role in potent poems of haunting, delicate strength. Read them closely to journey more deeply into the mystery of that classic, very strange book."--Naomi Shihab Nye
"Jessica Young constructs a world so lush with characters and character--the red trillium flowers underfoot, the spruce piano keys--that we could be forgiven it we wished to simply linger, for a while, in the detail. But this book is far more than a poetic re-imagination of Lewis Carroll. In a series of striking formal experiments and narrative turns, Young's poetry takes on our dailiness in order to change it imperceptibly, "like a plum sliced/...silently pitted, twisted back/into place, and presented as if untouched, undamaged."--Tung-Hui Hu
"I can't remember the last time I read a collection that was, all at once, as brilliantly conceived, as wondrous with language, and as fun to get lost in."--A. Van Jordan
Jessica Young is the author of the award-winning chapbook Only as a Body. She has received two Hopwood Awards, a Zell Fellowship, various Ilona Karmel Prizes from MIT, and numerous writing residencies. She teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, MI.
ISBN 978-1625490384, 84 pages