Publishers Weekly, 2010-08-02 In 1962, poet Ted Berrigan (The Sonnets) was an unknown New York writer. While visiting New Orleans, he eloped with 19-year-old Sandy Alper. Suspecting Ted of drug use, Sandy's parents "became frightened and irrational" and had her involuntarily committed to a mental ward, although after a few months, Sandy managed to flee with Ted. By 1969 the couple was divorced. This volume vividly preserves their young love through Ted's letters to Sandy while she was institutionalized-packed with rage, frustration, and thoughts about writing-and Sandy's responses, reporting on her reading and the little dramas of the mental ward. Seventeen years after Ted's death, this volume "validate[s] my presence in Ted's life," Sandy explains somewhat wistfully. According to Padgett, Ted's letters reveal "much of the emotional turbulence that helped infuse The Sonnets with such energy and drive." "It's time for less warm tears and more cold fury," writes Ted, transporting the reader to a time when a passionate and impulsive young woman could be committed for behavior contrary to social norms. Even those unfamiliar with Ted's poetry will be fascinated by the drama inherent in this collection. 20 b&w illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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