Familiar Spirits: A Memoir of James Merrill and David Jackson

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages
12 Reviews
Alison Lurie, one of America's greatest novelists, has written a loving memoir of world-famous poet James Merrill and his longtime partner David Jackson. Drawing on her forty-year friendship with Merrill and Jackson, Lurie reveals the couple's deep involvement with ghosts, gods, and spirits, with whom they communicated through a Ouija board. Among the results of their intense twenty-year preoccupation with the occult is the brilliant book-length poem "The Changing Light at Sandover", which Merrill called his "chronicles of love and loss." Recalling Merrill and Jackson's life together in New York, Athens, and Key West, Familiar Spirits is a poignant memoir infused with great affection and generous amounts of Lurie's signature wit.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dmsteyn - LibraryThing

This is an excellently written, at times horribly unfair memoir of James Merrill and David Jackson by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Foreign Affairs. Embarrasingly, I admit to never having heard ... Read full review

Review: Familiar Spirits: A Memoir of James Merrill and David Jackson

User Review  - Leftjab - Goodreads

Engrossing memoir, though I was probably looking for a more straight forward biography of Merrill. Fast-paced and never less than interesting, could have been twice as long. Ends with a series of ... Read full review

About the author (2002)

Alison Lurie is the author of many highly praised novels, including The War Between the Tates, The Truth About Lorin Jones (Prix Femina Etranger), and Foreign Affairs (Pulitzer Prize for fiction). Her most recent book was Familiar Spirits. She teaches writing, folklore, and literature at Cornell University.

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