My autobiography of Carson McCullers / Jenn Shapland.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie-letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language-but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers's life: she wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at McCullers's childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives McCullers's days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees the way McCullers's story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories. In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of America's most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Content Notes:
      Author's note -- Question -- Articulation -- Correspondence -- The soul's particular territories -- Derangement, or why I write -- Caves -- Chick-fil-A -- Tree houses and telephone booths -- That girl -- Qualifications -- A free love -- Windows -- Unforeseen events -- Becomings -- February House -- Imaginary friends -- Prove it on me blues -- Dedications -- Ambivalences -- Convalescence -- Parasites -- Homebodies -- Rules -- My rainbow youth -- Portals -- Item 8 -- Items 42-45 -- Items unlocated -- Womanish -- On exposure -- Conflation -- The hunt -- Semantics -- Separate bedrooms -- Androgyny -- They/them -- Confidantes -- The high line -- Threesomes -- Recliner -- Ontological destabilization -- Googling -- Preaching -- List of Carson's possible girlfriends -- Other likely lesbians -- Second marriages -- Dedications -- Fury and disaster -- In sickness -- Witch hunt -- This mad desire for travel -- Going West -- Coping mechanisms -- Seismographs -- Diagnosis -- Blue chair -- Organ -- Last love -- Not yet -- First loves -- Dream -- Matters of taste -- Dedications -- Dream -- Your name -- Forensics -- Expurgation -- Lies, secrets, and silence -- Myth mania -- Recognition -- The silencing force -- Proximity -- Myopia -- September 29, 1967 -- September 29, 2016 -- Love and winter -- The dead -- Dream -- Note to self -- Euphemisms.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references.
    • ISBN:
      9781947793286
      1947793284
    • Accession Number:
      2019031475
    • Accession Number:
      on1110673109
      1110673109
    • Accession Number:
      fay.708599

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2020 January #1

Interning in the archives of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Shapland followed a scholar's query to a trove of letters between novelist Carson McCullers (1917–67) and Swiss artist Annemarie Clarac-Schwarzenbach: I wasn't expecting love letters. This memoir, a creative blend of probing research and emotional discoveries, including self-discovery, grew from a resulting obsession to balance the biographical record of McCullers, which generally euphemizes or casts outright doubt on her love for women. Shapland, who endured a painfully closeted relationship before fully coming into her own queer identity, finds in McCullers a familiarly protracted becoming. She mines McCullers' correspondence, transcripts of her therapy sessions (which were at one point intended to become her autobiography), and other personal effects and even lives for a month in McCullers' childhood home. She discovers a woman who deeply loved other women while lacking the terms and perhaps the space to define her queer desire. Celebrating McCullers, love, and the idea that every story told includes something of its teller, Shapland writes an involving literary journey of the self. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews 2020 January #1

Interning in the archives of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Shapland followed a scholar's query to a trove of letters between novelist Carson McCullers (1917–67) and Swiss artist Annemarie Clarac-Schwarzenbach: I wasn't expecting love letters. This memoir, a creative blend of probing research and emotional discoveries, including self-discovery, grew from a resulting obsession to balance the biographical record of McCullers, which generally euphemizes or casts outright doubt on her love for women. Shapland, who endured a painfully closeted relationship before fully coming into her own queer identity, finds in McCullers a familiarly protracted becoming. She mines McCullers' correspondence, transcripts of her therapy sessions (which were at one point intended to become her autobiography), and other personal effects and even lives for a month in McCullers' childhood home. She discovers a woman who deeply loved other women while lacking the terms and perhaps the space to define her queer desire. Celebrating McCullers, love, and the idea that every story told includes something of its teller, Shapland writes an involving literary journey of the self. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.