Correspondences: A poem and portraits (Hardcover)

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Correspondences: A poem and portraits By Anne Michaels, Bernice Eisenstein (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Anne Michaels, Bernice Eisenstein (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

Paul's January 2014 pick

Correspondences by Anne Michaels & Bernice Eisenstein

This accordion-style book combines the mesmerizing wordplay of Anne Michael's long poem chronicling both the historical & personal experience of life in the 20th-century with the haunting portraits of Bernice Eisenstein of that same century's seminal thinkers. At once poignant & reassuring, humbling & uplifting, this book transcends making connections to reflect the interconnectedness of lived experience, both of individuals & cultures. The unfolding of the volume also allows for a changed perspective on the reading process itself. It allows us a rare glimpse into the immutable,

"the moment one life

becomes another"

and the whole world changes and few notice it.

— From Paul Wenzel


A rare and beautifully produced "accordion" book by renowned novelist and poet Anne Michaels and acclaimed artist and writer Bernice Eisenstein that will cause a stir for both its form and its content.

Anne Michaels's resonant book-length poem--which unfolds on one side of the pages of this accordion book--ranges from the universal to the intimate, as she writes of historical figures for whom language was the closest thing to salvation; on the other side, we have Bernice Eisenstein's luminous portraits of and quotes from such twentieth-century writers and thinkers as Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs, W. G. Sebald, Anna Akhmatova, Primo Levi, and Albert Einstein. The poetry and portraits join together in a dialogue that can be read in any direction and any order, in a format that perfectly reflects the thematic interconnectedness of this collaboration: "an alphabet of spirits and spirit; an elegy of remembrance" (Eisenstein); "just as a conversation becomes the third side of the page . . . the moment one life becomes another" (Michaels).

About the Author

Bernice Eisenstein is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic memoir I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors,  which was translated into ten languages, and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. Eisenstein, whose artwork has appeared in exhibitions in Europe and the United States, lives in Toronto.

Anne Michaels is the author of the internationally best-selling novel Fugitive Pieces, winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Guardian Fiction Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction, among many other honors. Fugitive Pieces was made into a major motion picture. Her second novel, The Winter Vault, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She is also the author of three highly acclaimed poetry collections. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780307962492
ISBN-10: 0307962490
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2013
Pages: 128
Language: English