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Author Archive: "Leni Zumas"

Leni Zumas: What I’m Giving

In this special series, we asked writers we admire to share a book they're giving to their friends and family this holiday season. Check back daily to see the books your favorite authors are gifting.

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The pleasures of Lore Segal's fiction are so enduring that I make gifts of her books whenever I can. Her 1975 novella Lucinella, reissued in 2009 by Melville House, is the story of a poet stumbling through the New York literary world. Normally I might flinch at a book about poetry readings, artist colonies, and writerly envy (the horror of self-recognition?!), but Segal unhinges her landscape enough that it's fresh and odd, tinged with the surreal. One of Lucinella's lovers, for instance, is Zeus — not a man called Zeus, but the Greek god himself. And our heroine meets iterations of herself ("the young Lucinella," "the old Lucinella") at cocktail parties, even has conversations with them.

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