By Cynthia Zarin
This beautiful prose debut from prize-winning poet Cynthia Zarin is a poignant exploration of the author’s reports with love, paintings, and the shock of time’s passage.
Zarin charts the moving and complex parameters of up to date existence and family members in writing that feels approximately fictional in its richness of scene, discussion, and temper. the author herself is the marvelously rueful personality on the middle of those stories, first and foremost a bewildered younger lady navigating the terrain of latest jobs and borrowed flats in a long-vanished long island urban. through the top, no matter if describing a newlywed trip to Italy, a child’s life-threatening sickness, Mary McCarthy’s dossier cupboard, or the interior lifetime of the New Yorker employees, this historical past of the guts indicates us how chronic the earlier is in returning to us with totally new lessons.
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Extra resources for An enlarged heart : a personal history
In order to punch this hole, they had destroyed the original kitchen cabinetry and put up plank shelving to replace it. The back bedroom, which received hardly any light, was painted dark blue. The three rooms that faced the park and the view had been painted pink, yellow, and pale green by hand, by the woman who now owned the apartment. She and her husband, M——, had separated. He was a stonemason, and it was to him that the apartment owed its deep green marble counters and the columns in the living room.
The brownstone was four stories high, and the first and third floors had been cut in half, with one apartment fronting the avenue and the other in back. On the first floor, adjacent to the entrance, lived Marina, a junkie whose complicated life meant that she often forgot to throw out her garbage. In the back apartment a small crouched woman whom I saw, in the years I lived there, leave the house only once, surrounded herself with old newspapers and combustible fabrics. Occasionally she would have a visitor, who arrived with a plastic bag reeking of curry.
Punctually, he whizzed past us into the doorway and disappeared. I wonder now why we waited to investigate the boy’s wild aim at the doorway—it was a wooden doorway with a Della Robbia Madonna set over the putti and peeling arch—but when we did, one night when it was just beginning to rain in the piazza and so our dusk-lit twilight was cut short, we saw only a stone stairway three feet from the lintel, and then, nothing: a tattered straw mat, unraveling, had been placed just inside the door. When I thought now of Ivetta, standing in her kitchen in her black-and-white Marimekko apron, in Rome, thinking about going to confront her husband, I thought of those stone stairs, and the boy disappearing, as if into thin air, night after night after circling the fountain in Perugia.
An enlarged heart : a personal history by Cynthia Zarin