The Pawnbroker's Daughter: A Memoir
Maxine Kumin left an unrivaled legacy as a pioneering poet and feminist. The Pawnbroker's Daughter charts her journey from a childhood in a Jewish community in Depression-era Philadelphia, where Kumin's father was a pawnbroker, to Radcliffe College, where she comes into her own as an intellectual and meets the soldier-turned-Los Alamos scientist who would become her husband; to her metamorphosis from a poet of "light verse" to a "poet of witness"; to her farm in rural New England, the subject and setting of much of her later work.
Against all odds, Kumin channels her dissatisfaction with the life that is expected of her as a wife and a mother into her work as a feminist and one of the most renowned and remembered twentieth-century American poets.
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About the Author
Maxine Kumin's quietly powerful memoir is so graceful we almost forget it was no easy task for a pawnbroker's daughter, predestined housewife of the 1950s to become a Pulitzer Prize poet, mother of three children, breeder and rider of horses, grower of vegetables, expert swimmer and cross-country skier, New Hampshire farmer, and writer of novels and children's books. And I never heard her raise her voice except in laughter and song.--Dan Wakefield
Everything comes alive in these pages that, like her poems, always say more than the simple words. When you enter this book, this life, you enter the wonderful world that becomes her PoBiz farm, a world not just for poets but for anyone who is enthralled by the world and wants to leave it 'full of the last clover.'--Richard Jackson