Title Essential Essays
Subtitle Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry
Author Adrienne Rich, Editor: Sandra M. Gilbert
ISBN 9780393652369
List price USD 27.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Hardbound
No of pages 352
Book size 165 x 241 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“To reread and to rethink Rich’s prose as a complete oeuvre is to encounter a major public intellectual-responsible, self - questioning, and morally passionate.”
Sandra M. Gilbert, from the Introduction


“All her life, [Adrienne Rich] has been in love with the hope of telling utter truth, and her command of language from the first has been startlingly powerful.”
W. S. Merwin


“Adrienne Rich’s prose moves with force, clarity, energy; and soothes with a poet’s grace and elegnace”
New York Times


“Rich continues to refuse to separate the artistic from the political, and she articulates in powerful ways how a truly radical political agenda can draw upon an aesthetic vision.... [A] vision both unsparing and full of hope.”
San Francisco Chronicle


“The poet’s relation to politics is at the heart of these essays.... [Rich is] a tough-minded critic and a sensitive reader.”
Boston Globe


“Adrienne Rich has never shied away from taking on the role of poet-prophet for our age: speaking out against our country’s wars and corrupt leaders, advocating for LGBT rights at home and abroad, and forcing readers to continue to think about the relationship between art and social justice.”
Virginia Quarterly Review


A career-spanning selection of the lucid, courageous, and boldly political prose of National Book Award winner Adrienne Rich.

Adrienne Rich was an award-winning poet, influential essayist, radical feminist, and major intellectual voice of her generation. Essential Essays gathers twenty-six of her most renowned essays into one volume, demonstrating the lasting brilliance of her voice, her prophetic vision, and her revolutionary views on social justice. Rich’s essays unite the political, personal, and poetical like no other.

Essential Essays is edited and includes an introduction by leading feminist scholar, literary critic, and poet Sandra M. Gilbert. Emphasizing Rich’s lifelong intellectual engagement, the essays selected here range from the 1960s to 2008. The volume contains one of Rich’s earliest essays,“When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” which discusses the need for female self-definition, along with excerpts from her ambitious, ground-breaking Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. As the New York Times wrote, Rich “brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse,” as evidenced in her 1980 essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.”

Also among these insightful and forward-thinking works are: “Split at the Root: An Essay on Jewish Identity”; excerpts from What Is Found There, about the need to reexamine the literary canon; “Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts”; “Poetry and the Forgotten Future”; and other writings that profoundly shaped second-wave feminism, each balanced by Rich’s signature blend of research, theory, and self-reflection.


A Note on the Text
Introduction: The Treasures That Prevail

On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978
When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision (1971) • Jane Eyre: The Temptations of a Motherless Woman (1973) • Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson (1975) 

Poetry and Experience: Statement at a Poetry Reading (1964) • from Caryatid: A Column (1973) 

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and  Institution (1976) 
Foreword • Anger and Tenderness • Motherhood and Daughterhood

Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979–1985
What Does a Woman Need to Know? (1979) • Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence (1980) • Split at the Root: An Essay on Jewish Identity (1982) • The Eye of the Outsider: Elizabeth Bishop’s Complete Poems, 1927-1979 (1983) • Blood, Bread, and Poetry: The Location of the Poet (1984) 

What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and  Politics (1993, 2003) 
Woman and Bird  • Voices from the Air • The Distance Between Language and Violence • Not How to Write Poetry, but Wherefore “Rotted Names” A Poet’s Education • Tourism and Promised Lands Six Meditations in Place of a Lecture 

Arts of the Possible (2001)  
Muriel Rukeyser: Her Vision (1993) • Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts (1997) • Arts of the Possible (1997)

A Human Eye (2009)
Permeable Membrane (2005) • Poetry and the Forgotten Future (2006) 


About the Author:

Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes two National Book Awards, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation.

About the Editor:

Sandra M. Gilbert is a distinguished literary critic, professor, and poet. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Target Audience:

Students and academicians of English Literature, especially those interested in feminism & poetry.


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