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The Handless Maiden
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Rating
The poems in this extraordinary book deal in familiar emotions love, grief, rage, loneliness but do so with such a fresh and fierce eye, such lived intensity, that the familiar is given again the force to touch our nerves, to seem raw and new. Some of the poems are based in the territory of home and childhood, others move into that unnerving space where the safe and polite world plunges over a ledge into anarchic revisions of what is possible or acceptable. They treat myths and fairy stories, or even paintings, not as fictions but as part of our continuing experience. Powerful and sensuous, wry and witty, their clear voice stays in the mind- provoking, questioning, refusing to accept the soft lie. These disturbing and passionate poems demand to be read.
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'Thin beautifully etched ice - over such deep shocking water.' Ted Hughes

About the Author

Vicki Feaver was born in Nottingham in 1943 and studied at Durham and University College, London. She has published three collections- Close Relatives (1981), The Handless Maiden (1994), winner of the Heinemann Award and shortlisted for the Forward Prize, and The Book of Blood (2006), which was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and theCosta Poetry Award. The Handless Maiden includes the poem 'Judith', winner of the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. In 1993 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship and in 1999 a Cholmondeley Award.

Reviews

"This is a rich, disturbing and vibrant collection of poems...confident, mature and visionary, creating an artistic identity which a great many novelists could only dream of" -- Michael Bracewell * Guardian * "Whether she is 'in search of the edge' or dancing 'out over the edge' Feaver brings areas of female sexuality and its taboos to the public imagination of women and men with brilliance, sensitivity and perfect control" -- Deryn Rees Jones * London Magazine * "Vicki Feaver's poems resonate with truth and raw emotion... Whether she is writing about ironing, childhood, periods or love, her wry humour and sensuous style make familiar subject matter seem fresh and new" -- Kate Figes, * Cosmopolitan *

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