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New Release with Solid Tribute to Adrienne Rich


From T. S. Poetry Press, publisher of the Oprah Summer Read The Whipping Club, comes a fiction debut that includes a solid tribute to the late Adrienne Rich.

The Novelist, by L.L. Barkat, explores themes of origins and consciousness in the writer and the woman. Readers familiar with the Adrienne Rich volume The Dream of a Common Language will recognize subtle images of ice and water; of things lost or trashed; of earth, clay and fire.

“Laser-like reflection,” says one reviewer about The Novelist, thus capturing a defining element of Rich’s own poetry and polemics; Barkat, however, argues through a gentle cloak of storytelling and poetry interwoven with the fabric of the fiction itself.

In addition to Barkat’s image-rich poetry woven throughout, the climax of the book hinges on readings from Adrienne Rich, whose words powerfully turn the main character when she can’t turn herself.

This accessible book, with a witty surface, has readers coming back for more, reading the book multiple times, to uncover layers of meaning about the writing process and the complexities of the literary world.

Follow the main character, Laura—a copywriter and poet—as she tries to figure out how the hell to write a novel to meet Megan Willow’s challenge—a book by September.

Megan has a thriving tea business and does everything in a big way. To her, the idea of writing a novel in a matter of months is beyond simple. All you need is the will, and you’ll find the way.

Confused by romantic love and her place in the world of writing, Laura delves into her past, as she tries to bring a novel into the present. To tutor her efforts, she culls wisdom and hope not only from Adrienne Rich, but also from greats such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Mary Shelley, and medieval story-weaver Murasaki (whose real name has been lost to history, because she was a woman).

Can Laura write a novel by September? She might not even make a cup of tea by midnight. So who’s to say.

“One of those rare books you’ll finish but leave on the nightstand,” notes Darrelyn Saloom, co-author of My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of A Girl Who Yearns to Box

T. S. Poetry Press, publisher of The Novelist and the Oprah Summer Read The Whipping Club, has developed a reputation for the “rare book”; most of its titles have been finalists for recognitions like the Indie Booksellers award or have been named among Best Books of the Year for 2010 and 2011.

For interview opportunities or more information about the new release The Novelist, contact T. S. Poetry Press at

Background photo by Claire Burge. Used with permission.

Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. The Novelist
    for L.L. Barkat

    The Novelist makes pots
    of Christmas tea, sometimes

    mugs of coffee. She sits with
    Adrienne Rich in her kitchen,

    poems humming in the space
    where silence flies when a woman

    dreams. Murasaki courts her
    love in robes of imperial purple.

    Words make a map of fiction.

    Mary Shelley’s ghost hems
    at Laura’s midnight side, gothic

    tale for the witching hour,
    birthing on nights shut in

    the atlas of a difficult world
    unread, every other letter

    without meaning. Listening
    in the language of Llosa, Laura

    explores the wreck, diving
    against time’s resistance,

    author’s defeat. Write, as if
    your life depended on it:

    Witness how The Novelist
    turns her one last page to End.

  2. L. L. Barkat says:

    Ah, Maureen! Now I know how Lyla feels :) I’m feeling quite loved as the recipient of this wonderful poem.


  1. Ordinary Genius: Entering Poetry | TweetSpeak Poetry - September 26, 2012

    [...] Pablo Neruda, Dylan Thomas, Adrienne Rich, Leonard Cohen and even our own Twitter poetry party host L.L. Barkat on my [...]

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