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A Woman Without a Country: Poems (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Featured in our 2014 Winter Newsletter


A powerful work that examines how—even without country or settled identity—a legacy of love can endure.

Eavan Boland is considered “one of the finest and boldest poets of the last half century” by Poetry Review. This stunning new collection, A Woman Without a Country, looks at how we construct one another and how nationhood and history can weave through, reflect, and define the life of an individual. Themes of mother, daughter, and generation echo throughout these extraordinary poems, as they examine how—even without country or settled identity—a legacy of love can endure.

From “Talking to my Daughter Late at Night”

We have a tray, a pot of tea, a scone.

This is the hour

When one thing pours itself into another:

The gable of our house stored in shadow.

A spring planet bending ice

Into an absolute of light.

Your childhood ended years ago. There is

No path back to it.

About the Author

Eavan Boland (1944—2020) was the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including Outside History and several volumes of nonfiction, and was coeditor of the anthology The Making of Poem. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she was one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature. She received a Lannan Foundation Award and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award, among other honors. She taught at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Bowdoin College, and Stanford University, where she was the director of the creative writing program.

Praise For…

Eavan Boland is a major Irish poet, a great seeker, and her new book is a determined mission to bring the past out of the shadows, to lift up images, record words, in a lyric battle against omissions and erasures, recorded history, the ruthlessness of time. She is a necessary singer.
— Edward Hirsch

Eavan Boland’s poems have an edgy precision, an uncanny sympathy and warmth, an unsettling sense of history. Her heart-stopping memories—bitter or poignant or loving—become our own. This is her best book—an astonishment, a treasure.
— J. D. McClatchy

A powerful work that examines how—even without country or settled identity—a legacy of love can endure.

Masterful… I felt, reading A Woman Without a Country, that I was having a conversation—that beautiful kind of conversation where you can't nod enthusiastically enough, where each speaker articulates the other's thoughts as quickly as they occur, where you feel energized and elated and full of new understanding of each other and the world.

— Amal El-Mohtar

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393244441
ISBN-10: 039324444X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: November 10th, 2014
Pages: 96
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 3/7/2014 08:25am
Last Updated At: 8/8/2020 11:13pm