Savage beauty : the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

by Milford, Nancy.

Format: Print Book 2001
Availability: Available at 15 Libraries 16 of 16 copies
Available (16)
Location Collection Call #
Bethel Park Public Library Biography 92 MILLAY Edna
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 MILLAY Edna
C.C. Mellor Memorial Library Non Fiction 92 Millay
Location  C.C. Mellor Memorial Library
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  92 Millay
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3525.I495 Z72 2001
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3525.I495 Z72 2001
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3525.I495 Z72 2001
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3525.I495 Z72 2001
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Non Fiction 92 MILLAY
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  92 MILLAY
Cooper-Siegel Community Library - Sharpsburg People & Places PP BIO MIL
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library - Sharpsburg
Collection  People & Places
Call Number  PP BIO MIL
Dormont Public Library Non-Fiction 92 M62
Location  Dormont Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 M62
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 811 MILLAY Edna St. Vincent
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  811 MILLAY Edna St. Vincent
Northern Tier Regional Library Biography BIO MILLAY
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  BIO MILLAY
Northland Public Library Biography B MILLAY
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B MILLAY
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 MIL
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 MIL
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 92 MILLAY Edna St. Vincent
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  92 MILLAY Edna St. Vincent
Sewickley Public Library Biography B MILLAY 2001
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B MILLAY 2001
Shaler North Hills Library Biography 92 MILLAY
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 MILLAY
Springdale Free Public Library Adult Biography BIO 92 MILL
Location  Springdale Free Public Library
Collection  Adult Biography
Call Number  BIO 92 MILL
Upper St. Clair Township Library Storage 811 MILLAY BIO/CRIT
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Storage
Call Number  811 MILLAY BIO/CRIT
Thirty years after the smashing success of Zelda , Nancy Milford returns with a stunning second act. Savage Beauty is the portrait of a passionate, fearless woman who obsessed American ever as she tormented herself.


If F. Scott Fitzgerald was the hero of the Jazz Age, Edna St. Vincent Millay, as flamboyant in her love affairs as she was in her art, was its heroine. The first woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, Millay was dazzling in the performance of herself. Her voice was likened to an instrument of seduction and her impact on crowds, and on men, was legendary. Yet beneath her studied act, all was not well. Milford calls her book "a family romance"--for the love between the three Millay sisters and their mother was so deep as to be dangerous. As a family, they were like real-life Little Women , with a touch of Mommie Dearest .

Nancy Milford was given exclusive access to Millay's papers, and what she found was an extraordinary treasure. Boxes and boxes of letter flew back and forth among the three sisters and their mother--and Millay kept the most intimate diary, one whose ruthless honesty brings to mind Sylvia Plath. Written with passion and flair, Savage Beauty is an iconic portrait of a woman's life.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "A reevaluation of Millay is long overdue, and how fitting it is that a poet as famous for her complicated love life as for her extraordinary poems is the subject of rival biographers. Millay scholars were frustrated for decades by the inaccessibility of a vast treasure trove of letters, journals, and other private papers jealously guarded by the poet's sister, Norma. Milford, the author of Zelda (1970), the best-selling biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, gradually earned Norma's trust during the 1970s and now presents the first comprehensive authorized biography of the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Red-headed, green-eyed, precocious, independent, and beguiling, Millay was born in Camden, Maine, in 1892, the eldest of three daughters of a divorced and renegade mother. Millay began writing as a girl, and her brilliant, original, and fearless early poems won her prizes and wealthy patrons who sent her to Vassar, where she conducted a great swirl of love affairs with young women and older men. Once established in Greenwich Village, the indefatigably lascivious Millay wrote daring yet lyric collections that sold in the tens of thousands at the height of the Depression. Milford is both meticulous and dynamic in her assessment of Millay's trailblazing work and complicated, controversial life right up to its sad and dramatic end, and she will continue her reclamation of a great American poet as editor of a forthcoming Modern Library edition of Millay's fire-and-diamond poetry. Epstein, a poet as well as a biographer of such disparate figures as Nat King Cole and the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, takes a more tightly focused and interpretative approach than Milford by, as he explains, "discussing Millay's love life and how the poetry arose from it." He writes with acuity and grace about the young Millay's determination, yearnings, and intellectual spirituality. By homing in on her erotic life (he writes that the poet had a "megawatt libido"), Epstein runs the risk of belittling Millay's extraordinary literary gifts, "vatic" poetic persona, moral passion, and vibrant and courageous life of the mind. Yet his insights into her androgyny, his understanding of just how ahead of her time she was, his placing her in the pantheon with Shelley, Coleridge, and Baudelaire, and his respect for her marriage to the supportive Eugen Boissevain keep him on solid ground. Certain disclosures, particularly of Millay's secret racehorse investments, await further study, but Epstein's keen reading of Millay's poetry and temperament is smart, stirring, and invaluable. Donna Seaman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Milford hit the New York Times bestseller list 30 years ago with her acclaimed biography of Zelda Fitzgerald; she now seems poised to do it again with this outstanding biography of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Like Fitzgerald, Millay (1892-1950) was a Jazz Age phenomenon, causing a sensation wherever she went; lines from her brief poem, "First Fig" ("I burn my candle at both ends/ It will not last the night... ") would become the rallying cry of a generation. She was notorious for her sexual unconventionality and (as Edmund Wilson put it) "her intoxicating effect on people... of all ages and both sexes." How a lyric poet could have achieved such celebrity is the conundrum at the heart of Savage Beauty. Millay, as Milford depicts her, was a troubled genius who used her prodigious gift to propel herself out of rural poverty and into the center of her age. She carefully cultivated the reporters and patrons who took the "fragile girl-child" under their wing. But her delicate image masked a force of nature whose incendiary wit and insatiable ambition took the public by storm. Milford deftly links the lyric intensity of Millay's work with her ravenous appetite for life. Whether tracing her ghoulishly close relationship to her mother and sisters, her years at the center of cosmopolitan life or her morphine addiction and untimely death, this account offers its readers a haunting drama of artistic fame. A true paradigm of literary biography, this finely crafted book is not to be missed. (Sept. 11) Forecast: Zelda, a finalist for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, sold 1.4 million copies. In addition to a nine-city author tour and first serial publication in Vanity Fair, Mitford will be interviewed in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar. Expect lots of excellent reviews and return trips to the printer once the 75,000 initial run sells out. Along with this bio, Modern Library will issue a new edition of Millay's poetry, edited by (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Millay, Edna St. Vincent, -- 1892-1950.
Poets, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Women and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Publisher New York :Random House,2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xviii, 550 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [513]-528) and index.
ISBN 9780375760815 (pbk.)
0375760814 (pbk.)
039457589X (alk. paper)
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