The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl

 
9781554471461: The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl

In 2006, a four-year-old Massachusetts girl died from prolonged exposure to a cocktail of drugs that a psychiatrist had prescribed to treat ADHD and bipolar disorder; her parents were convicted of her murder. In The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl, Sue Goyette strives to confront the senselessness of this story, answering logic’s failure to encompass the complexity of mental illness, poverty and child neglect (or that of our torn and tangled social ‘safety net’) with a mythopoetic, sideways use of image and language. Avoiding easy indignation, Goyette portrays the court proceedings’ usual suspects in unusual ways (the judge, the jury, the lawyers, the witnesses and the girl’s troubled parents), evokes the ghost of the girl, personifies poverty as a belligerent bully and offers an unexpected emblem of love and hope in a bear. Like the utterances of a Shakespearean fool, Goyette’s quirky, often counter-logical poems offer a more potent vision of reality than any documentary account, her eulogy for a girl society let down renewing the prospect for empathy and change.

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About the Author:

Sue Goyette has published five previous collections of poetry, The True Names of Birds, Undone, Outskirts, Ocean (winner of the 2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award and finalist for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize) and The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl. She has won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize, the CBC Literary Prize for Poetry, the Earle Birney Prize, the ReLit Award and the Bliss Carman Award. Goyette lives in Halifax where she teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University.

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Goyette, Sue
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