The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives

The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives
Carnegie-Mellon University Press 2004

“What a remarkable collection! Fleda Brown has turned obsession into a series of finely wrought evocations of a period. She knows her music, and she knows that her early stirrings in relation to it were emblematic of a nation’s. There’s consistently high quality of phrasing in this book, and an astute framing of effects. Which is to say Fleda Brown has been able to raise popular culture into art like few others before her.”

—Stephen Dunn

“You think the fat women who cried didn’t know/what they cried for, when he died?” asks Fleda Brown in this spirit-lamp of a book that filters our “irreconcilable urges” through an iconography that renews, once again, America’s promise. As much about the mysteries of the creative process, its “private language,” and the rigors of self-discipline as about Elvis himself, The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives accomplishes something original, perfect in its moment, that triggers, as if by accident, an “astonished whoop.” If Elvis lives anywhere these days, he surely lives in these seductive pages”

—Michael Waters

“This is one of the best accounts I’ve ever read of what obsession with our idols can reveal to us about ourselves. The consciousness at the center of these subtle, intricate poems glides so smoothly from one point of view to another—from Elvis and his mother visiting his father in prison, to a fan and her teenage daughter, to a dead Elvis trying to “break through to flesh” by lifting weights—that the border between one person and another blurs. Brown’s poems show compellingly how the Other becomes a mirror in which we can reconsider our own lives and then return to them transformed.”

—Sharon Bryan

 Fleda’s Books

 

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