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Reading these linked stories feels like living in a neighborhood and watching days go by for all the faces you recognize on the corners. Howland's sociological lucidity is unmatched, and her (re)discovery by A Public Space is long overdue.
The acclaimed collection that restored to the literary canon a long-overlooked artist of live-wire incisiveness, shredding wit, and improbable beauty. Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
restores to the literary canon an extraordinarily gifted writer, who was recognized as a major talent, with Guggenheim and MacArthur "genius" fellowships, before all but disappearing from public view for decades, until nearly the end of her life when her work was rediscovered.
Bette Howland herself was an outsider: an intellectual from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago; a divorc e and single mother, to the disapproval of her family; an artist chipped away at by poverty and perfection. Each of these facets plays a central role in her work. Mining her deepest emotions for her art, she chronicles the tensions of her generation--and her native city--with a flair for language in the tradition of Lucia Berlin, Kathleen Collins, and Grace Paley. Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
introduces a new generation of readers to a wry, brilliant observer and a writer of great empathy and sly, joyous humor. With an afterword by Honor Moore.