The Nerve

The Nerve

Book - 2002
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Houghton
Many of the poems in Glyn Maxwell's brilliant new collection explore American life and history. An Englishman who lived five years in Massachusetts, Maxwell watches fairs and floods and beggars pass by; he tries to understand gridiron and the ever-lengthening Halloween season. Some of these poems concern the harmful and the harmed: school shooters and terrorists on the one hand, victims and refugees on the other -- a girl accused of witchcraft; families made homeless, knowing "none in heaven or earth with any stake/in stopping it"; and the Californian "wild child" Genie. In a zone between are the harmlessly bewildered: a man who holds his own funeral, a TV weatherman wishing for hurricanes, women writing love letters to men on Death Row.
Maxwell's first new collection since The Breakage (1999), this succession of lyrics and narratives captures the strangeness and splendor of America, its thin layer of normality, its historical origins in flight, longing, and trust in providence. Beyond the cultural context of these poems is an incisive and compassionate portrait of the human animal in the twenty-first century. The Nerve is a haunting, powerful book that strikes deep beneath the surface of daily life, "like a spell or a code that unlocks a safe" (P. N. Review).


Baker & Taylor
A collection by the writer of The Breakage reflects on victims and perpetrators in American history, from terrorists and school shooters to a girl accused a witchcraft, homeless families, and a media representative wishing for a disaster.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002
ISBN: 9780618155460
0618155465
Branch Call Number: 821 MAXWE

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