A different person: a memoir

Front Cover
Knopf, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 271 pages
5 Reviews
A great American poet--winner of every major prize America can offer its poets, including the Pulitzer--opens his life to us in a memoir that puts wit, sensibility, and elegance of mind to the service of unflinching autobiographical truth. Photos.

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Review: A Different Person: A Memoir

User Review  - Aran - Goodreads

My own fault for not liking this better--I'd hoped to find more Ouija and less analysis, which a simple blurb exploration would've informed me was not to be. Read full review

Review: A Different Person: A Memoir

User Review  - Martin - Goodreads

James Merrill, the poet, was the son of one of the co-founders of Merrill Lynch, and as such lived a cosseted and privileged life. This tells of his youthful life in Europe in the early 1950s, and he has a poet's skill for rendering the sights and exotic people he encountered. Read full review

Contents

Decision to go abroad My dearest friend
3
Tony puts one over on the French Visit
16
With my father in Italy Dr Simeons
30
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

James Merrill was born in New York and attended Amherst College, where he later spent a year teaching English. An extensive traveler, he has lived in Italy and now divides his time between Stonington, Connecticut, and Greece. In "First Poems" (1951), "Merrill's images derive from both symbolist and metaphysical sources - substances such as glass, crystal, and flint are linked with apparatuses of one kind or another (compasses, barometers, spectrums, and hourglasses) and he speaks of the machinery of light and the machinery of decay" (Louise Bogan, New Yorker). "Nights and Days" (1966) won Merrill a 1967 National Book Award for "his scrupulous and uncompromising cultivation of the poetic art, evidenced in his refusal to settle for an easy and profitable stance." Merrill's play "The Immortal Husband" has been performed off-Broadway. He has also written two novels, "The Seraglio" (1957), about an aging businessman, and "The (Diblos) Notebook" (1965), which was a runner-up for the 1966 National Book Award in fiction. His epic poem "The Changing Light at Sandover" (1982) is one of the most impressive long poems written since the era of the modernist masters. It secures Merrill's place as one of the preeminent poets of his generation and certainly one of the most ambitiously inventive writers of the postwar decades.

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