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A Working Girl Can't Win: And Other Poems

Garrison, Deborah

ISBN 10: 0679451455 / ISBN 13: 9780679451457
Published by Random House, 1998
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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0679451455 Dj blurb by John Updike. Bookseller Inventory # 003483

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Working Girl Can't Win: And Other Poems

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Deborah Garrison, whose work as an editor and writer has enlivened the pages of The New Yorker for more than a decade, evokes the characters and events of her everyday life with intense feeling and, more important, conjures up the universal dilemmas and pleasures of a young woman trying to come to terms with love and work.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Review:

Every couple of years, some unlucky soul gets designated as the Poet for People Who Hate Poetry, and now it seems to be Deborah Garrison's turn. It's easy to see why: she gets the voice of the late 20th-century New Yorker to perfection, in all its kvetchy, melancholic glory. At times it's like hearing George Costanza channeling Emily Dickinson:

I'm never going to sleep
with Martin Amis
or anyone famous.


Garrison also tends to sidestep metaphysics in favor of more accessible subject matter. That means love (mostly unrequited) and work (mostly unbearable, particularly for a working girl in a testosterone-driven office, wearied by the appearance of yet "another alpha male-- / a man's man, a dealmaker"). No wonder Garrison seems so appealing. And no wonder her publisher has capitalized on this appeal by packaging her book in such a sleek, chic jacket. It would be a mistake, however, to write her off as one more neurotic light versifier. Her metaphoric agility can take you by surprise: note the Atlantic breeze coming "up out of the surf / like a dog gone swimming, / slagging sand and spray every which way / and making the news unreadable." So, too, can the note of resignation that undergirds so many of Garrison's vignettes-in-verse, giving even her most featherweight performances an odd, unchic intensity.

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