The Emily Dickinson Handbook

Title: The Emily Dickinson Handbook
Published by: The University of Massachusetts Press
ISBN13: I-55849-169-4
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Here for the first time, students of Emily Dickinson can find a single source of accurate, up-to-date information on the poet’s life and works, her letters and manuscripts, the cultural climate of her times, her reception and influence, and the current state of Dickinson scholarship. Written by a distinguished group of contributors from the United States and abroad, the twenty-two essays in this volume reflect the many facets of the poet’s oeuvre, as well as the principal trends in Dickinson studies.

Topics include Richard Sewall on Dickinson’s life, Agnieszka Salska on her letters, David Porter on themes (or the lack of them) in the poetry, Judith Farr on Dickinson and the visual arts, and Roland Hagenbuchle on the poet and literary theory. Contributors from newer scholars range from Kerstin Behnke on translation, Martha Ackmann on biography to Marietta Messmer on the poet’s critical reception and Paul Crumbley on her dialogic voice.

Unlike encyclopedic entries, each essay also reflects the contributor’s distinct and at times controversial point of view. As a result, the essays will prove useful not just to beginning students, but also to established scholars looking for a review of areas of Dickinson studies with which they are less familiar.

Edited by Gudrun Grabher, professor and chair of American studies at the University of Innsbruck, Roland Hagenbuchle, professor of American studies at the Catholic University of Eichstatt, and Cristanne Miller, W. M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and professor of English at Pomona College.

Critical Acclaim

“The Handbook makes a hugely significant contribution to the field and will, I am sure, be an invaluable tool for students, libraries, and scholars…. The essays are without exception informed, informative, concise, and (given the complexity of their subject matter) very readable. The fact that they are written by the leading scholars of the day makes the collection as a whole all the more authoritative.”
Domhnall Mitchell, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

“I can’t recommend it too highly for anyone who wants a one volume Dickinson reference. The scholarship is sound and up to date; the book is very accessible and a delight to read. It can only enhance one’s appreciation and enjoyment of the poems and de-mystifies/sets the record straight in so many key areas related to this major American poet.”
Margaret Langstaff, Book Critic

“Distinguished biographer Richard Sewall provides a brief introduction on "The Continuing Presence of Emily Dickinson." He points the book in its ultimate direction by stating, "as with the greatest, the strangeness never wears off. Shakespeare is still a mystery, and so is Dickinson. We still argue about Hamlet, and those poems will never let us rest." Martha Ackmann opens the first chapter with an essential essay on biographical studies of the poet. A model for the best essays in the book, this provides an historical overview of such studies, a discussion of the difficulties inherent in Dickinson biography, and Professor Ackmann's distinct point of view.”
Daniel Lombardo, review essay, The Emily Dickinson Journal