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Houdini: A Musical [Paperback]

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Item description for Houdini: A Musical by Muriel Rukeyser & David Spangler...

This previously unpublished work presents the spectacular life of world-renowned escape artist, Harry Houdini. Part biography part fantasy, Houdini unlocks Rukeyser's worlds of illusion and reality as she leads us from Houdini's childhood in Appleton, Wisconsin (picking up pins with his eyelids) to his acts under water and onstage. We meet his wife Bess, his mother, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the poet's own Marco Bone, vehicle of voices, spirits, and songs. Rukeyser presents Houdini's shocking congressional testimony against spiritual mediums. She shows his great feats of escape, his complex relationships with his mother and his wife, and his ironic, untimely death.

In addition to revealing the story of this country's tantalizing icon, Houdini offers a new understanding of Rukeyser's own work and life. Written at the height of the women's movement, the musical gives us Rukeyser's most famous lines, spoken by Houdini's wife Bess: "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open." Houdini's response, "It has. Now I am going after it-all pieces." With subtexts of desire, race, grief, and love, Houdini presents Rukeyser's gorgeous, reaching language and her brilliant observations of the human psyche. The musical will appeal to young bell-bottomed readers as well as Houdini devotees, poetry fans, drama people, and escape artists everywhere. A recipient of an NEA, Houdini joins the Rukeyser resurgence that is well underway-with the Paris Press publications of The Life of Poetry and The Orgy, and the University of Pittsburgh's 2002 reissue of The Collected Poems.

Muriel Rukeyser (19131980) published fifteen collections of poetry, translations, children's books, and several works of nonfiction. Her "toys of fame" include the Yale Younger Poets Award, the Copernicus Award and the Shelley Memorial Award. She served as president of P.E.N. American Center from 1975 to 1976. About Muriel Rukeyser, Kenneth Rexroth said, "If any American poet deserved the Nobel Prize it was she."

Also available by Muriel Rukeyser
The Life of Poetry
TP $14.95, 0-9638183-3-3 o CUSA
The Orgy
TP $14.95,

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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2002
Publisher   Paris Press
ISBN  1930464053  
ISBN13  9781930464056  

Availability  0 units.

More About Muriel Rukeyser & David Spangler

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Janet E. Kaufman is assistant professor of English at the University of Utah.
Anne F. Herzog is Dean of theSchool of Arts, Science, and Professional Studies at Springfield College. They are coeditors of "How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?": The Life and Writing of Muriel Rukeyser.
Jan Heller Levi, is the author of a collection of poems, Once I Gazed at You in Wonder, and editor of A Muriel Rukeyser Reader. She is working on a biography of Muriel Rukeyser.

Muriel Rukeyser was born in 1913 and died in 1980.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Performing Arts > Theater > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General

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