Poetry. HISTORY OF GONE is a collection of poems inspired by the life and unsolved disappearance of Barbara Newhall Follett, a once-famous child prodigy writer of the early 20th century. In the introduction, Schmeidler writes, "She's a woman we've never heard of destined to be the Next Great American Writer," who, by the age of 14 has published two books to glowing reviews. After a series of life-altering events (her father leaves; she and her mother set sail on an open-ended sea voyage; she falls in love), what begins as promise turns to uncertainty. "Because it's the Depression and she needs money. Because she's a woman. Because she's a writer. Because her editor father is no longer guiding her work into the hands of publishers. Because she falls in love. Because she travels, this time to Europe, this time with a man. Because she marries. Because she wants more, and also nothing more, than to be outside. Because all writing is in sand." All that is known of what happens is that one December night in 1939, after arguing with her husband, she leaves the house with a notebook and $30. She is never seen or heard from again. She is 25.
"A daring conceptual feat of reanimated biography, HISTORY OF GONE arrives in its forms of oblique memorial drenched in lyric imagination: 'Everywhere you look there's a finger bone of some gone woman.' Schmeidler's rich lexicons frame intimate interior geographies—swoop and silhouette, beatitude and gingerbread, planets and wolfhounds—all the while replaying the 'stolen reel' of a forgotten life. As the lavish particulars unfold—a mouthbrooder, an anhinga, a purse dehisced—these poems invite charged questions about autonomy, creativity, and self-effacement: 'What kind of play is she in, 'finished by a death' or 'ended by a marriage'?' A cautionary tale of the erasures of domesticity, a vocational fable, an inside-out bildungsroman, this book envisions the prismatic possibilities when the self makes a 'clean sneak,' and the result is nothing short of levitation." —BK Fischer
Lynn Schmeidler is a poet and fiction writer. Her first chapbook, Curiouser & Curiouser, won the 2013 Grayson Books Chapbook Contest. Her second chapbook, Wrack Lines (Grayson Books), was a finalist for both The Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Contest and the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Awl, Barrow Street, Boston Review, Fence, The Georgia Review and The Southern Review, as well as in anthologies such as Transition: Poems in the Aftermath (Indolent Books); Mischief, Caprice and Other Poetic Strategies (Red Hen Press); Bared (Les Femmes Folles Books); and Nasty Women's Poetry Anthology: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press). She is a Pushcart Prize nominee in fiction. Educated at Yale University, Lynn lives in Westchester County, NY where she writes and teaches. History of Gone is her first book.
Author City: DOBBS FERRY, NY USA