INVENTED A PERSON: The Personal Record of a Life by Lenore Marshall

INVENTED A PERSON: The Personal Record of a Life

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This collection of previously unpublished bits and pieces from poet/novelist Lenore Marshall's diaries and notebooks is, like the woman, humane and various. Culled from 17 boxes of her papers after her death in 1971, the work has been skillfully arranged by editor/friend Thaddeus to record a life that continually enlarges, as if to take itself all in. Included are traveler's notes: a 16-year-old girl's observations of the outbreak of war in France, 1914; a Middle-Eastern journey in 1927; fresh impressions of Europe and Mexico in the 1950s; and in the 1960s a round of resorts from Sarasota to the Catskills. Though Marshall did not publish her first novel until she was 40, all are observed with the novelist's keen eye for niceties (""The Ambassador from Argentina has yellow suede shoes. . .""). Here too are notes of the moralist committed to political action through the black civil rights struggle and the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy (founded in her living room); reflections of the mother and grandmother; and a story for the grandchildren who, she came to feel, were her future. Marshall the writer, though often torn between ""dreams and scrambled eggs,"" draws characters and fragments of stories, touchingly describes the New York City schoolchildren in her ""writing clubs,"" and reflects on the work of other writers (notably Faulkner whose The Sound and the Fury she, as an editor, discovered) as well as on her own. She is often fearful, often struggling, but always compassionate, good humored, sensible, not to be fooled. Thaddeus' careful introduction describes Marshall's life and work', and Muriel Rukeyser contributes a Foreword to this collection of small, vivid parts.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1980
Publisher: Horizon