Neruda: The Biography of a Poet
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About the Author
Mark Eisner is a writer, translator, and documentary filmmaker. Neruda: The Poet's Calling is the product of fifteen years of in-depth research, including many primary interviews with members of Neruda's intimate circle, who offered rare insights into this mysterious public figure's life.
Eisner is the editor of The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004), which since its publication has consistently been the bestselling edition of Neruda's poetry in the U.S. He served as the principal literary translator for that edition, which also included translations by Robert Hass, Forrest Gander, and Stephen Mitchell, as well as an introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Eisner is producing a documentary about Neruda, slated to appear in early 2018 with the support of Latino Public Broadcasting. An initial, short version of the documentary, narrated by Isabel Allende, received a Latin American Studies Association Award of Merit.
He is writing an introduction for the first-ever English translation of Neruda's Venture of the Infinite Man. He is also also the translator of Tina Escaja's book-length poem Free Fall / Caída Libre (Fomite Press, 2015), and co-editor of an anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance forthcoming in Spring of 2017.
Mark Eisner is a sought-after speaker on the life and work of Pablo Neruda, at venues ranging from embassies to universities, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, where he has also served as a Visiting Scholar.
"Perceptive readings of Neruda's poems are contextualized by an absorbing historical, cultural, and political chronology." -- Kirkus Reviews
"The comprehensive result examines Neruda's beloved poetry, political commitment, and roiling personal history to show how his art reflected his life and also stood on its own." -- Library Journal
"Efficient and moving... Eisner doesn't let the enchantment of the verse soften his disapproval of the poet's serial adultery or mistreatment of women, and questions Neruda's self-appointed "people's poet" status. Nevertheless, the thematic arc of Neruda's poetic vocation is invitingly presented. Meanwhile [Eisner's] descriptions are poetry themselves..." -- Publishers Weekly
"...brings alive Latin America's greatest poet...Empathetic but unflinching when occasion calls for criticism, Eisner weaves his subject's stanzas that resonate with the poet's personal stories. A real treat is the who's who of intellectual luminaries who make cameos throughout...A definitive biography and instant classic." -- Library Journal (starred review)
"Eisner succeeds in sharing the story of the 'People's Poet' and his life's many callings in this new standard-bearer among Neruda biographies." -- Booklist