Poetry. "From the internet, I learn that 'complicated grief' designates a bereavement disorder in which, instead of fading with time, the pain of loss remains as acute as it was in the beginning. But from Laura Mullen's book I learn that complicated grief also names something else: not a sufferer's excruciating condition, but a writer's exhilarating achievement. Here, the incapacity to move on from 'old' psychic scenarios has been itself complicated by a formidable prose that not only refuses to get over them but even works to revive them in all their undying (Mullen would say: undead) vigor. To these unstintingly reimagined ancient histories—ranging from fairy tale and yesteryear's news item to childhood trauma and grownup broken heart—Mullen gives all the hyperrealist precision of a dream: every turn and phrase starts at you. And not the least of this book's disconcerting, but strangely salutary, powers is that, under its stimulus, you can't help starting back."—D.A. MillerIn a way (the way I'm taking it) Laura Mullen's COMPLICATED GRIEF follows (with giant dropouts) everything she knows about being a monster. Her aegis covers women (young ones and aging), un-natural disasters and literature. If something packed could wander like Julianne Moore's mind, to the benefit of everyone, but more like a whole department store or a library feeling snarky, shuffled itself and somehow it was wise.—Eileen MylesOne of the deep pleasures of this book is to be in the presence of a mind fully alive to the contradictions of what it is to be a sentient being, thinking and feeling while simultaneously thinking of feeling. I found myself marveling word-by-word, page after page. One thought: How often are we offered the opportunity to watch a mind form the mental construct we call "a thought," and why is it so rare? The world is here, seeping brilliantly through the seams, made utterly new.—Nick Flynn
Kirkus Reviews>^ŞzIrKristin Sanders @ NOLA Defender
Laura Mullen is the author of eight books; recognitions for her work include MacDowell Fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Rona Jaffe Award. Her translation of V�ronique Pittolo's HERO was published by Black Square Editions in 2019. She holds the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair in the Humanities at Wake Forest University.