Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Trailer Park Tuesday: Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck and Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

As those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook know by now, I’ve gone full-immersion into the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay this month. I started by dipping into the Library of America edition of her Selected Poems and then my fever intensified when I went inside Nancy Milford’s pitch-perfect biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Savage Beauty. Along the way, I decided to cap off my Millay feast with Erika Robuck’s novel Fallen Beauty, which imagines an encounter between Millay and a small-town seamstress (and fallen woman) named Laura Kelley in the late 1920s. Both women are at precarious times in their lives--Millay is struggling with her latest collection of poetry, The Buck In the Snow, and Laura is dealing with the stigma of having a child out of wedlock. Though the trailer isn’t new (Fallen Beauty came out last year), I wanted to share it with you in hopes it will lead you to discover not only Millay’s work (she’s fallen out of fashion these days, it seems), but also Robuck’s novels in which literary figures like Hemingway and Fitzgerald interact with “regular people” in inventive ways. Her latest is called The House of Hawthorne and it’s about you-know-who.

Another new literary-encounter novel which has caught my eye is Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor, published this summer by Penguin Books. Here’s another instance where a famous author and a domestic encounter each other in the pages of a novel. In this case, it’s Emily Dickinson and her Irish maid. Young Ada Concannon goes to work in the Amherst, Massachusetts household in the 1860s and finds it’s a strange place where the spinster poet wears only white and avoids the outside world at all costs. The trailer, which O’Connor herself put together, moves a little too quickly in places, but it’s beautiful nonetheless and gives you a good idea of the book’s tone. I’m adding Miss Emily to the pile of “reclusive female poets and their encounters with mortal beings” books I want to read this year.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a million for featuring Miss Emily here, David.