The Resurrection Trade

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9781555974633: The Resurrection Trade

Poet Leslie Adrienne Miller's brilliant and provocative exploration of anatomical texts and historical assumptions about the body
Whoever they were, they're still with us,
posing demurely in suits of blood
and muscle, the bruised shadows
of what skin they do have . . .

                      --from "Gautier d'Agoty's Écorchés"   "The resurrection trade," the business of trafficking in corpses, is an old trade, one that makes possible the art of anatomy and, as poet Leslie Adrienne Miller discovers, the art of her own book. Miller delves into the mysteries of early anatomical studies and medical illustrations and finds there stories of women's lives--sometimes tragic, sometimes comic--as exposed as the drawings themselves. These meticulously researched and rendered poems become powerful testimonies to women's bodies objectified and misunderstood throughout history. Miller's sensuous and harrowing fifth collection brings a new truth to what she calls "the strange collusion of imaginary science and real art."

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About the Author:

Leslie Adrienne Miller is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Eat Quite Everything You See. She teaches at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

From Booklist:

The sale of corpses for medical, artistic, and other, even less savory purposes is a controlling metaphor for Miller in her sterling fourth collection. Although the corpses of men have been dissected and illustrated, women's bodies draw Miller's attention. With scrupulous, meticulous modesty, she enlivens the women subjected, without their knowledge or consent, to such public display. They were stripped literally to the bone for the male gaze, but the poet's female gaze gives them dignity. One, "The Flayed Angel," somehow in death keeps herself aloof from preying eyes, for in her portrait the inks "pushed out against their wells / of dark on water, thighs or fields, anywhere / the light is kept from falling, places / where the eye is urged to go but never see." The subject seems at first macabre, but before our fascinated and appalled gaze, Miller shows us how every body both reveals and conceals its secrets. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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