A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.2 X 0.7 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Sergeant Salinger; Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin; The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times; In the Shadow of King Saul: Essays on Silence and Song; Jerzy: A Novel; and A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century. Among other honors, his novels have been selected as finalists for the Firecracker Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Charyn has also been named a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York.


Praise for A Loaded Gun

PEN/ Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography Longlist
O, The Oprah Magazine "Best Books of Summer" selection
Philadelphia Inquirer "Spring Ahead Into the World of Books" selection
Nordstrom's The Thread "Weekend Guide" selection
Longreads "Best of the Year: Most Popular Exclusives" selection
Ploughshares "Indie Spotlight: Year-end Wrap-up" selection
Publishers Weekly "Book of the Week" & PW Daily "Review of the Day" selection

"A magnetic nonfiction reevaluation of the mystifying, radical, perhaps bisexual, and maybe greatest-ever American poet." --O, The Oprah Magazine

"In A Loaded Gun, [Charyn] is again out to release Dickinson from the myths that have enclosed her. . . . With essayistic chapters on Dickinson's mother, her dog, her servants, her photographic image, her poetic fragments--Charyn's book is perhaps best viewed as yet another imaginative attempt to get to the source of Dickinson's emotional intensity, and to imagine an 'Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century.'" --New York Review of Books

"Ecstatic. . . . [Charyn] may be the perversely perfect critic for the poet who wandered 'The House of Supposition -- / The Glimmering Frontier that / Skirts the Acres of Perhaps--.'" --VICE magazine

"[Emily Dickinson] will blow the top of your head off, no matter what century you live in. Charyn looks at a lot of ways to see this revolutionary, subversive, explosive genius." --Philadelphia Inquirer

"Less literary criticism than threnody, a bold, loose-limbed, Whitman-like prose-poem lamenting the constrictive previous, but still prevailing, notions of Dickinson and lauding instead a wild woman of words. . . . A Loaded Gun is an invitation to meet Dickinson on the dizzyingly high ground of her imagination from a fellow writer who has done just that with his own writing." --Bay Area Reporter

"An imaginative and unprecedented look at Emily Dickinson that is part biography, part literary criticism, and altogether fascinating." --Ploughshares

"Charyn has followed Dickinson as assiduously as Alice down the rabbit hole. . . . Is Dickinson gay? Read Charyn's fascinating thesis and decide." --Lavender Magazine

"Charyn is a man, a New Yorker, living in the twenty-first century, yet he understands this female rebel from New England like no one else can." --Scranton Examiner

"A Loaded Gun is a fascinating meditation on an individual's relationship to language and her place in the world, and Charyn's quest will appeal not only to poetry lovers and Dickinson fans, but to anyone who understands the joy of immersing oneself in a puzzle to which no definitive 'answer' yet exists." --Late Night Library

"Reading Jerome Charyn sometimes evokes the sensation of seeing Dickinson arise from her poems. . . . [H]e is about the work of enlarging the universe of her person and her poetry while he shows how much more there is still to do in fathoming her depths and contours." --University Bookman

"Charyn is intrigued by the hermeneutics of biography and literary criticism. He is steeped in the work of Dickinson scholars and readers. . . . For Charyn the poems are Emily Dickinson, the vital part of herself that as a woman in nineteenth-century Massachusetts she could only fully express by keeping to herself--not as someone s