Synopses & Reviews
Charles Simic, born in Yugoslavia in 1938, believes that tragedy, comedy, and paradox are the commonplace experiences of an exile's life. In The Unemployed Fortune-Teller
he continues to search in essays, memoirs, and journal entries for the sources of his poetry. The eighteen wonderfully eclectic pieces in this new collection deal with such subjects as contemporary American poetry, the surrealist concept of chance, the blues, erotic folk songs, nationalism and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, painting, photography, movies, the relationship of food to happiness, and his formative experiences in New York and France, where he served in the U.S. Army.
The writing collected in The Unemployed Fortune-Teller reflects the poet's concern with the complex interplay of poetry, art, philosophy, and one's own biography. It is also a pleasure to read, with prose that is at once serious and playful. Those who appreciate Simic's poetry know that he enjoys odd juxtapositions that reveal hidden and unexpected connections. This collection of his memoirs and essays will similarly surprise and delight them.
"[A] rich reading experience." Library Journal
Provides glimpses into the origins of Charles Simic's poetry
Charles Simic, who spent his childhood in Yugoslavia during the Second World War, believes that tragedy, comedy, and paradox are the commonplace experiences of an exile's life. In the essays, memoirs, and journal articles collected in The Unemployed Fortune Teller, he continues to search these experiences for the sources of his poetry.
About the Author
Charles Simic's most recent poetry collection is Hotel Insomnia. He has won a number of prizes for his poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, Guggenheim and Macarthur Fellowships, and a P.E.N. Translation Prize. He is Professor of English, University of New Hampshire.