Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares

ISBN 10: 0813530334 / ISBN 13: 9780813530338
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Synopsis: Rare and Commonplace Flowers - a Brazilian bestseller - tells the story of two women. Elizabeth Bishop, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, sought artistic inspiration in Brazil. There she met and fell in love with Lota de Macedo Soares, a self-trained Brazilian architect. This dual biography - brilliantly researched, and written in a lively, novelistic style - follows their relationship from 1951 to 1967, the time when the two lived together in Brazil. The fact that these two women had an intimate relationship caused an uproar when it first came to public notice. The relationship started out happily, yet ended tragically. In 1961, Soares became increasingly obsessed with building and administering Flamengo Park, Rio de Janeiro's equivalent to New York City's Central Park. Though she had been the driving force behind the park's inception, the ultimate credit that was due her was stripped away because of petty politics and chicanery. As Soares's career declined and Bishop's flourished, their relationship crumbled. Rare and Commonplace Flowers is a tale of two artists and two cultures, offering unique perspectives on both women and their work. Carmen L. Oliveira provides an unparalleled level of detail and insight, due to both her familiarity with Brazil as well as her access to the country's artistic elite, many of whom had a direct connection with Bishop and Soares. Rare pictures of the two artists and their home bring this unique story to life.

Review: "Rare and Commonplace Flowers performs an invaluable service: unforgettably memorializing the remarkable Lota de Macedo Soares, and in the process filling in a crucial gap in Bishop's biography....This book helps put...[Bishop's] writing in useful context. It honors a deeply moving love between two brilliant women: each highly public, a celebrity in her own nation; each deeply private, and happy (for a time) in the fragile heaven of their home."

"Novelist Oliveira's engaging dual biography tells of [Bishop and Soares's] 'long and sad' relationship....This book offers a new perspective on the American poet, and the love story between these two women is undeniably intense and tragic. Recommended."

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Title: Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of ...
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Carmen L. Oliveira, Neil K. Besner
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Book Description Rutgers University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Account of the love affair between the Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and the Brazilian architect. This dual biography follows the relationship of the two women from 1951 to 1967, the time when the two lived together in Brazil. Sources. Illus., b&w photographs. 192p. Bookseller Inventory # 218890

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Book Description Rutgers University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket - Very Good. 0813530334 Dust jacket and book are clean, has a very good binding, no marks or notations. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1018195

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Book Description Rutgers University Ptress, New Brunswick, 2002. Hardcover. xv, 192p., foreword, translator's preface, note on text, sources, glossy b&w photo section, very good first edition in quarter-cloth boards and unclipped dj. Bookseller Inventory # 216744

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Carmen L. Oliveira ; translated by Neil K. Besner
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Book Description New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 2002., 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Dustjacket included. First Edition. ISBN 0813530334. Hardback. First Printing. Very Good condition book in a Very Good condition dustjacket with minor rubs and creases around its edges. Tight, sound, unmarked copy. No Signature. Bookseller Inventory # 95135730

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