Meet Lila Moscowitz, a smart-mouthed, Jewish American beauty with a voracious appetite for sex, a remarkable talent for outrageous lies, and an unerring knack for screwing up her life. An accomplished poet, renowned for writing "smut and filth in terza rima," she goes about her life in Pure Poetry with enough attitude and verve to win your heart forever. But since fleeing the all-consuming passion of her marriage to Max, the sexy German, she can no longer compose so much as a couplet; ghosts have taken over her Greenwich Village apartment, and the contrast between her feelings for her present lover and her former husband is breaking her heart. And neither her best friend, Carmen, nor her cross-dressing analyst, Leon, is able to soothe her angst over her impending thirty eighth birthday, an occasion fraught with a thirty-seven year tradition of emotional devastation. But time waits for no woman, and the dreaded birthday does bring insight: Love can be undone by the same desires that nurture it. Lila knows that she has got to take action, and in doing so she comes to realize some startling truths about herself, her capacity for love, and the nature of true freedom. Binnie Kirshenbaum's voice has been acclaimed by critics and readers alike. Already a bestselling author in Germany, Kirshenbaum demonstrates a brilliant maturity in Pure Poetry. Not since Erica Jong's Fear of Flying has a novel so captured a woman's heart and desires. Readers will cheer Pure Poetry for its heady mix of humor and sadness, and for its slyly unsettling visions of modern life.
Binnie Kirshenbaum is a professor in the Writing Division of the Columbia University School of the Arts. She is the author of several highly acclaimed novels and has received a Critics' Choice Award and a Granta Best young American Novelist Award.
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