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The Book of Mirrors Paperback – 10 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd (10 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852248513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852248512
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An accomplished painter, she brings to her poetry the same landscape of contrasts, in her vivid descriptions of light and dark, struggle and release, the cleansing properties of fire. She is a courageous poet with a rich palette. --Maura Dooley & Jamie McKendrick, PBS Bulletin.

This is poetry come out of siege. --John Kinsella, Observer.

This is poetry come out of siege. --John Kinsella, Observer.

About the Author

Frieda Hughes was born in London in 1960, and grew up in Devon. She wrote and painted from an early age, and for many years has been a painter and children's writer. She lives on the Welsh Borders and is married to painter Laszlo Lukacs. She has published three poetry collections with Bloodaxe, Wooroloo (1999), Stonepicker (2001) and Waxworks (2002), with The Book of Mirrors forthcoming in 2009. She received a NESTA Award in 2002 to help her work on Forty-five, her portrait of her life in 45 poems and paintings, the poems from which were published by HarperCollins in the US in 2006. Her first children's book, Getting Rid of Edna, was published by Heinemann (UK) and Harper & Row (USA) in 1984. Four other titles followed from Simon and Schuster: The Meal a Mile Long (1989) and Waldorf and the Sleeping Granny (1990), which she also illustrated; followed by The Thing in the Sink(1992) and Rent-a-Friend (1994). Her most recent titles are The Tall Story (MacDonald Young Books, 1997) and Three Scary Stories (HarperCollins, 2001).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jay Doubleu on 10 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I like Frieda Hughes' poetry, I have three out of her four poetry collections, but although this may be her largest collection to date I don't think it's her strongest. When the poems really sing, like "Pheasant Running" for instance, they are as superb as ever, but in "The Book of Mirrors" (the book, not the individual poem) I found that too few poems sang for me, but maybe that's just me?

I am also still not sure what to make of the notes on the poems in the Afterword: I am not used to the poet choosing to explain poems in this way - shouldn't the poems speak for themselves? Moreover, some of the personal explainations I found a bit too intrusive. Hughes has complained , and rightly so, of critics' unhealthy obsession with her parents and yet her notes on the poems provide me with more of an insight into her private past than perhaps I really wanted. I guess if you are interested in the Plath/Hughes myth and its ongoing effects then these notes will be just what you want. I ended up feeling a tad uncomfortable, but as I said before, maybe that's just me?

All in all, it's a readable and very accessible collection, but I don't feel that Hughes' voice has developed or progressed uniformly when compared to previous collections. The book is worth buying, though, for the poems that do sing out, particularly her bird poems where you can hear the feathers on the pheasants, crows and magpies that she loves rustle across the pages. Some of these poems brought a tear to my eye, which shows just how good her writing can be. Maybe a slightly shorter, more tightly edited collection would have been the answer?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. Dunhill on 3 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I heard Frieda Hughes read one of the poems from it on Radio 3's Private Passions. The poem was called For Nick and was dedicated to her late brother. I have recently been bereaved and found the poem extraordinarily beautiful and moving.
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By Principality Bookworm on 27 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Splendid, thought provoking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Insightful and entertaining reading 15 Mar. 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The answers are within, but it doesn't within isn't a hard to manage mess. "The Book of Mirrors" is a collection of poetry from Frieda Hughes, focusing on the subject of self reflection. Her poems ask the reader many questions of how to find the truth and come to terms with it. Insightful and entertaining reading, "The Book of Mirrors" is not to be missed. "Letters": There's no justice I can do/To the memory of you./Your letters read as clearly to me now/As they did when written./Book-bound they might illuminate/The father that you were, so other see/The loss you are to me.
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