by Lyn Lifshin
A chapbook published in March 2007 by portraitsketch.com
$7.00 plus $2.00 shipping
out of print
contact Lyn Lifshin at email@example.com
Cover art by artist, Jeremiah Stansbury
Portrait, Issue No. 12; March 2007 Ithaca, NY 24 pp
a review by John Birkbeck
One of Lyn’s recent books, August Wind, is condensation of charged emotions and grief.
This chapbook, in prose, feels a lot like her poetry-- the terse, unemotional tone, the economy of language, the unsentimentality. And yet feelings evoked are of pathos and stoic endurance of psychic as well as physical pain
Presented is an aging mother dying of inoperable cancer, attended by two daughters and a son-in-law, who don't get along at all well. They are trapped together, the past and the future compressed in the pressure cooker of the present. There is a race against onrushing death. Life is clung to and then the grip is relaxed, much like a flickering candle in low oxygen, flaring up briefly before waning into the dark
The great appeal of Lyn’s prose, as in her poetry, is that she is dangerously honest and candid, yet passionate and compassionate, yet never invoking the mawkish or cloyingly sentimental in the range of her subjects. Lyn Lifshin is a realistic romantic, tough but tender, giving no quarter nor asking any, but facing life and love and loss as it is and not as it might, or should be. This little book is a deeply moving experience that will stay with you for a while.
You can download the manuscript as a PDF file.
April 12, 2011