- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Books; 1st Vintage Contemporaries Ed edition (Oct. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679742409
- ISBN-13: 978-0679742401
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,065,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Through the Ivory Gate (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – 1 Oct 1993
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From the Inside Flap
A debut novel by the 1987 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. When a woman returns to her Midwestern hometown as an artist-in-residence to teach puppetry to schoolchildren, her homecoming also means dealing with memories of racism, rejected love--and truths about her family. Author readings.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Ok so there are some things to like about this novel. She is an artist and a thoughtful, intelligent one at that. The main character is an actress/peformer/mime and Dove's disquisitions on mime, theatre, music are all interesting. She likes German music. Bach is name checked many times. I was not surprised after reading the novel when I read on the dust jacket that Dove was married to a German writer, haha. Her interest in classical music also can be seen in a poetry collection she wrote 17 years later in Sonata Mulattica (2009).
There are of course many interesting comments on race in America. I particularly liked when she is trying to explain to her harmless, white roommate why she can't come to her group meeting with fellow black women on campus ("On Saturdays I like to be black...").
Besides certain German composers and lyrics she also quotes Finnegans Wake and Andrew Marvell. Like I said, though this book doesn't work well as a novel there is a lot to enjoy here if you are interested in Art, Rita Dove, race in America etc.