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I received an advanced review copy of this book from a friend in London and was completely blown away by this beautifully crafted story of two people who clearly adore & love each other in such a deep, soulful way, yet struggle to connect. The dialogue between the two lead characters is poignant, heartbreaking, and meaningful -really wise beyond their age at the outset. Following along from their high school years & beyond, you get a real window into the mind & hearts of two unique individuals. The pages burst with the discussion of ideas, literature, honor, disappointment, pain - all of the human qualities that make us who we are. In this novel, we bear witness to the joy, pain, & struggle that people go through individually & as a couple. The raw emotion is stunning & gorgeously portrayed by these two incredible characters who are trying to figure life out and define who they are & hope to become. I read this book again before it came out in hardback in America and then again in January ahead of the paperback release, crying, appreciating & marveling at Sally Rooney's brilliant portrait of two people completely, passionately & utterly devoted to each other through the years, though it was rarely easy or simple. The avid reader and bookseller side of me loved this book!
The filmmaker side of me was also completely taken & mesmerized by the spectacular, passionate & nuanced performances by the two lead actors in the new Hulu episodic series adaptation of the book. I was truly riveted & stunned by the authentic, sophisticated, lovely & at times painful portrayal of the lead characters. This gorgeously shot series will keep you glued to the screen. Well-deserved accolades have gone out to Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and newcomer Paul Mescal as Connell.
With her latest poetry collection, Gail Mazur once again shows her mastery of the descriptive-meditative narrative, powerfully evoking the past while writing from the firm ground of the present.
In Land’s End, we see Mazur writing with the kind of lyric authority, ever-deepening emotional range, and intellectual and social scope that her readers have come to expect in her poetry. Beautifully crafted elegies meet with reflections on her own life, her family, and artists who have come and gone. In the title poem, she leads readers through a garden, where new and old growth twists together in an “almanac of inheritances” that conjures the rich memory of poets who have passed on. In this space of remembrance, Mazur also charges us with the responsibility of nurturing art and artists of the future, especially in the face of the disheartening absurdities of contemporary politics. Contemplating the growth and decay so entwined in life, these poems invite us to consider both inevitable brokenness and necessary hope, writing “My work now: to continue learning to absorb the loss, / and live.”
Through tidal creeks and the weightless scenes of ukiyo-e woodcuts, in artists’ studios and along the frozen Charles River, Mazur connects passionately with the world around her. Carrying with her the undeniable presence of loss and of time past, she engages deeply with the present, her historic memory informing a deep concern for contemporary life. Reading Land’s End, we find ourselves with the poet:
as if here at land’s end, here on the coast, urgent, together we’d have energies to do battle forever.
As if we could rescue the guttering world….
About the Author
Gail Mazur is the founding director of the Blacksmith House Poetry series and the author of six previous books of poems, including They Can’t Take That Away from Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Insitute of Radcliffe College as well as the St. Botolph Club Foundation Distinguished Artist Award.
"In this comprehensive volume, Mazur demonstrates a remarkable mastery of poetic technique as she depicts human relationships in all of their ambiguities. . . . Here, as elsewhere, the speaker boldly and sensitively proclaims her own lack of understanding. It is this vulnerability, equipped and complemented with extensive erudition, that makes Mazur’s poems as poignant as they are accomplished in their craft."