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Marguerite Young
May 22, 2009 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Marguerite Young - whom Kurt Vonnegut called "unquestionably a genius" - first achieved success with a study of the utopian commune at New Harmony, Indiana called Angel in the Forest. She then spent 18 years writing Miss Macintosh, My Darling - a 1,198 page novel that William Goyen praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a masterwork". She spent the last 30 years of her life writing an unfinished biography of Eugene V. Debs that was posthumously published, in heavily edited form, as Harp Song for a Radical.

Her interview with The Paris Review. A book of tributes and essays.
posted by Joe Beese (4 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Although I have a copy of Miss Macintosh, I haven't gotten around to reading her yet, though I should. Here's an interview at the Dalkey Archive, who keep her in print.
posted by with hidden noise at 8:49 AM on May 22, 2009


Her masterwork is 1,198 pages? I smell Infinite Summer part 2!

California has it's own bit of Harmony. It's a tiny community of ~20 folks, now more of a local arts shopping stop than anything else, though in the past, motorists were treated to ladles of buttermilk from the renowned dairy.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


God, I didn't realize that Miss McIntosh, My Darling was a real book. It's the book Macon Leary from The Accidental Tourist always takes with him when he's traveling so he doesn't have to talk to anyone on the plane.
posted by dlugoczaj at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2009


dlugoczaj: "God, I didn't realize that Miss McIntosh, My Darling was a real book. It's the book Macon Leary from The Accidental Tourist always takes with him when he's traveling so he doesn't have to talk to anyone on the plane."

from the last link:

Some years ago, I hit one of those discouraging spells where it seemed my fountain pen was slogging through mud. Not only did I feel my novel was going poorly; I couldn't see any reason for writing it at all.

It was during this period that I started dipping into Miss Macintosh, My Darling. Whatever page I turned to, it seemed a glorious wealth swooped out at me. I always went back to my own book feeling more hopeful, more aware of possibilities.

No wonder, then, I gave my wandering hero Miss Macintosh, My Darling for his traveling companion.
- Anne Tyler
posted by Joe Beese at 5:25 PM on May 22, 2009


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