Human Nature

Human Nature

Human Nature

  • Used Book in Good Condition

Human Nature explores, both seductively and horrificly, the redemptive possibilities found in an American girlhood gone wrong. Every one of Anderson’s poems tells a story—dangerous, sensuous, sometimes crazy, sometimes sacred tales that take us into the heartbreaking reality and strangeness of a little girl who grew up the woman of the house; at once drink-maker, showpiece, secret-keeper, and object of lust.

The terrain of incest and violence sets itself out on the page so subtely and plainly that the poems become mere containers for these extremes, a kind of prayer. Where formal grace might seem impossible, Anderson sings. And this is why the book —with all its darkness and danger—is, in the end, an affirmative one. The poems rise out of childhood’s sorrows into a womanhood filled with the past, hell-bent on the future, and ready for a fight. In haunting, elegant verse, Anderson enters into the truth of experience. Through it all, the poems come to embrace those universal illuminations that arise out of–or even because of–suffering.

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3 Comments

  1. Cheryl Strayed said,

    Wrote on July 31, 2016 @ 2:12 pm

    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fierce and beautiful, August 18, 2009
    By 
    Cheryl Strayed (Portland, Oregon) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This book knocked me flat. In a good way. The writing is exquisite. Alice Anderson’s honesty will take your breath away. She has the courage to tell her heart’s deepest, darkest truths while never compromising on the poet’s craft. Anderson’s poems are rigorous and right. They could be about trees and you’d swoon. But they aren’t about trees. They are about a woman and her body and her life and the little girl who lives inside of her still. They are fiercely about one person and also about us all. I opened this book and didn’t close it until I read every last poem, straight through. Human Nature is an amazing book.
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  2. Charles L. Larson said,

    Wrote on July 31, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Beware, all who enter here., July 6, 1999
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Human Nature (Hardcover)
    Beware, all who enter here. Anderson’s remarkable first book, winner of the 1994 Elmer Holmes Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, is like an outcropping of Hell — the reader is compelled by fascination and horror to keep reading. Dedicated to Sharon Olds, these poems bear her influence: the unflinching look at reality, the rich attention to physical detail, the rush of overwhelming experience, the aesthetic control. The book’s last line — “It’s the human’s nature to survive — welcome to the living.” — which also gives the book its grim and hopeful title, celebrates survival. Anderson’s life force is implicit in the language throughout these poems, objective, exact, charged with an emotional force given only to those who have been to hell and returned to tell the tale. — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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  3. Anonymous said,

    Wrote on July 31, 2016 @ 3:10 pm

    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Southern Fried InCinderella, October 18, 2013
    By 
    Charles L. Larson (KittyHawk NC) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    Alice Anderson has Elizabeth Montgomery looks, Norman Mailer toughness, and Emily Dickinson word imagery. Her book Human Nature chronicles her horrific journey through a childhood of hidden abuse in southern small town America, and the victory of the human spirit to overcome all obstacles. If you loved Prince of Tides, and Fried Green Tomatoes, you will love her book, Human Nature.
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