Project Description

MIRIAM SAGAN

Miriam Sagan is a U.S. poet, as well as an essayist, memoirist and teacher. She is the author of over a dozen books, and lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a founding member of the collaborative press Tres Chicas Books.

A graduate of Harvard with an M.A. in creative writing from Boston University, Miriam was one of the editors of the Boston area-based Aspect Magazine with Ed Hogan. In 1980 Ed shut Aspect down and he, Miriam and others founded Zephyr Press. In 1982 Miriam moved from the Boston area to first San Francisco and then Santa Fe, where Miriam has made her home since 1984. She’s published more than twenty books, including Searching for a Mustard Seed: A Young Widow’s Unconventional Story, which won the award for best memoir from Independent Publishers for 2004; her poetry collections Rag Trade, The Widow’s Coat, The Art of Love and Aegean Doorway; and a novel, Coastal Lives. Miriam directs the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College.

ORDER

In Bluebeard’s Castle

Pub Date:8/11/2019

DESCRIPTION
Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Poetry. “‘I did love my father for many years,’ Miriam Sagan writes on the first page of BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, an engaging and probing account of her relationship to her father, a man she calls ‘an eccentric misanthrope,’ whose ‘tantrums were notorious.’ Sagan examines her father’s impact on her in prose as balanced and amusing as the ‘two equal length lists’ she made of everything she hated and everything she loved about him, and in lyrical, mystical poems. The ‘cache of memory’ she draws from includes learning young to converse with a father who disdained small talk in favor of anthropology and Freudian psychology, and the gangsterish family culture centered on the garment business her father inherited and then left in mid-life (and where, as a girl she selected a new coat each season). The sections that consider her own close call with death in her early 20s, from what may have been swine flu, and the fact that her father’s intervention probably saved her life, as well as her descriptions of his disintegration the two years before he died, delve deep. If, as Sagan posits, their relationship was a ‘koan,’ that she could never solve, her depiction of it is nuanced and riveting.”—Carol Moldaw