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Rare and Commonplace Flowers
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"Rare and Commonplace Flowers" was a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards in the category of LGBT Biography. It was also a Stonewall Honor Book of the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table.

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At age 40, the celebrated American poet Elizabeth Bishop met and fell in love with a Brazilian woman named Lota de Macedo Soares. The two lived together in Brazil from 1951 to 1967. Novelist Oliveira's engaging dual biography tells of their "long and sad" relationship. Because most of the letters between the lovers were destroyed, Oliveira fills in conversations and personal scenes with a novelistic touch that may irritate those looking for a more precise reconstruction of events. Furthermore, Oliveira, a Brazilian herself, tends to focus heavily on Lota, "a marvel and a terror" whose obsessive desire to fight through Brazilian bureaucracy to build a landmark park in Rio de Janeiro ruined her health and her relationship with Bishop. By contrast, Bishop's personality is much less fully rendered. Nevertheless, this book offers a new perspective on the American poet, and the love story between these two women is undeniably intense and tragic. Recommended for academic collections. Amy Strong, South Portland, ME Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Rare and Commonplace Flowers performs an invaluable service: unforgettably memorializing the remarkable Lota de Macedo Soares, and in the process filling in a crucial gap in Bishop's biography....This book helps put...[Bishop's] writing in useful context. It honors a deeply moving love between two brilliant women: each highly public, a celebrity in her own nation; each deeply private, and happy (for a time) in the fragile heaven of their home."
"Novelist Oliveira's engaging dual biography tells of [Bishop and Soares's] 'long and sad' relationship....This book offers a new perspective on the American poet, and the love story between these two women is undeniably intense and tragic. Recommended."

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