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It’s been a long time since we did a book club, and we’re going to do it differently this time. Primarily, we’re simply going to invite you buy the book Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) by Eileen Myles and then come to her reading at Colorado College on February 21 at 7 p.m. in the Gates Common Room as part of the Colorado College Visiting Writer’s Series.

Inferno is a bildungsroman, a coming of age story about a young woman named Eileen Myles who moves from her hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts to New York to become a poet. Following the structure of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Myles takes the reader through the Inferno of her early days in Catholic school and into New York, then up through the Purgatorio of finding a way to be a writer of herself in the city, and finally, into the Heaven of being a full-time poet and writer. This book will take you through the gender fun house of her life in a voice as compelling as Salinger’s Holden Caulfield. How can you not love a writer who responds to Philip Roth’s retirement thusly: “I’m happy he’s still alive, and we won’t have to keep hearing about his boring books. It’s very generous of him to stop.”? She’s truly one of the greatest readers we’ve ever heard and we can’t recommend the reading or Inferno (excertp HERE) enough. But don’t take our word for it; take Alison Bechdel’s:

“I was completely stupefied by Inferno in the best of ways. In fact, I think I must feel kind of like Dante felt after seeing the face of God. My descriptive capacity just fails, gives way completely. But I can tell you that Eileen Myles made me understand something I didn’t before. And really, what more can you ask of a novel, or a poet’s novel, or a poem, or a memoir, or whatever the hell this shimmering document is? Just read it.”

Or watch this video (and ignore the annoying production):


You can pick up the book at HERE.


2 Responses to The Big Something Book Club Returns: Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) by Eileen Myles

  1. Nancy Wilsted says:

    I got 404’d when I clicked to see where I can buy her book.

    I might agree with her about Robt Lowell except for that line in Skunk Hour: “My mind is not right.” He suffered terribly w/ his mental illness and I think it’s great that he could and did write.

    I look forward to reading Eileen.

  2. Noel Black says:

    Weird about the 404. The first link (which is the same exact link) works, but the second doesn’t, so now I cahnged it and the second link will just take you to O/R books and you have to search for it (scratch head). Sorry.

    I don’t think she was dismissing Lowell altogether. Just a “move”, y’know?


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