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Never Breathe a Word

The Collected Stories of Caroline Blackwood

Never Breathe a Word
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The biography of Lady Caroline Blackwood includes tumultuous, highly public marriages to artist Lucian Freud and poet Robert Lowell, a reputation for eccentricity, and frequent flares of panic. At the same time, she left a body of work marked by intelligent, commanding writing that displays a singular wit and keen appreciation for the absurd. Never Breathe a Word calls attention to Blackwood's mastery, presenting a series of acclaimed short stories, both fictional and autobiographical. Selections span the entirety of her career, from her first book, For All That I Found There, to Good Night Sweet Ladies, one of her last before her death at age 64. The pieces of fiction alternate between tragic and artfully mundane, yet always share Blackwood's characteristic frankness and black humor. Three previously unpublished stories are included, featuring some of her most sympathetic heroines. Her nonfiction comprises eight evocative vignettes taken directly from her own life and set in narrative form. Beautiful, brazen, and living in "grand squalor" among ashtrays and empty liquor bottles, Blackood died in 1996 in Manhattan's Mayfair Hotel. She left behind a rare literary legacy?one that testifies to our shared struggles, and to the threadbare connection between art and life.
Counterpoint; January 2010
374 pages; ISBN 9781582436869
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158243686X
9781582435695
9781582436869