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In this wise and intimate new book, Sharon Olds tells the story of a divorce, embracing strands of love, sex, sorrow, memory, and new freedom.

As she carries us through the seasons when her marriage was ending, Olds opens her heart to the reader, sharing the feeling of invisibility that comes when we are no longer standing in love's sight; the surprising physical bond that still exists between a couple during parting; the loss of everything from her husband's smile to the set of his hip; the radical change in her sense of place in the world. Olds is naked before us, curious and brave and even generous toward the man who was her mate for thirty years and who now loves another woman. As she writes in the remarkable "Stag's Leap," "When anyone escapes, my heart / leaps up. Even when it's I who am escaped from, / I am half on the side of the leaver." Olds's propulsive poetic line and the magic of her imagery are as lively as ever, and there is a new range to the music - sometimes headlong, sometimes contemplative and deep. Her unsparing approach to both pain and love makes this one of the finest, most powerful books of poetry she has yet given us.



About the Author

Sharon Olds

Born in San Francisco on November 19, 1942, Sharon Olds earned a B.A. at Stanford University and a Ph. D. at Columbia University. Her first collection of poems, Satan Says (1980) , received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Olds's following collection, The Dead & the Living (1983) , received the Lamont Poetry Selection in 1983 and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other collections include Strike Sparks: Selected Poems (2004, Knopf) , The Unswept Room (2002) , Blood, Tin, Straw (1999) , The Gold Cell (1997) , The Wellspring (1995) , and The Father (1992) , which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. About Olds's poetry, one reviewer for the New York Times said, "Her work has a robust sensuality, a delight in the physical that is almost Whitmanesque. She has made the minutiae of a woman's everyday life as valid a subject for poetry as the grand abstract themes that have preoccupied other poets. "Olds's numerous honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Ploughshares, and has been anthologized in more than a hundred collections. Olds held the position of New York State Poet from 1998 to 2000. She currently teaches poetry workshops at New York University's Graduate Creative Writing Program as well as a workshop at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York. She was elected an Academy Chancellor in 2006. She lives in New York City.



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