Thirty years after the smashing success of Zelda, Nancy Milford returns with a stunning second act. Savage Beauty is the portrait of a passionate, fearless woman who obsessed American ever as she tormented herself.
If F. Scott Fitzgerald was the hero of the Jazz Age, Edna St. Vincent Millay, as flamboyant in her love affairs as she was in her art, was its heroine. The first woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, Millay was dazzling in the performance of herself. Her voice was likened to an instrument of seduction and her impact on crowds, and on men, was legendary. Yet beneath her studied act, all was not well. Milford calls her book "a family romance"—for the love between the three Millay sisters and their mother was so deep as to be dangerous. As a family, they were like real-life Little Women, with a touch of Mommie Dearest.
Nancy Milford was given exclusive access to Millay's papers, and what she found was an extraordinary treasure. Boxes and boxes of letter flew back and forth among the three sisters and their mother—and Millay kept the most intimate diary, one whose ruthless honesty brings to mind Sylvia Plath. Written with passion and flair, Savage Beauty is an iconic portrait of a woman's life.
About the Author
Nacy Milford’s Zelda spent twenty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in hardcover, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and was translated into twelve languages. Nancy Milford was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey in 1999, and an Annenberg Fellow at Brown Unviersity. She has taught at the University of Michigan, at Vassar College, and will be in the American Studies Program at Princeton University this fall. She is a founder of the Writers Room, has held a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Literary Lion at The New York Public Library. She lives in New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
“An incendiary cocktail of literary ambition, fame, sexual adventure and addiction.” —Newsweek
“Perfectly outstanding...Milford’s biography takes the whole of Millay’s heaving, grieving, ecstatic life into account in a way that is almost loving, always respectful, even when blunt truth and candor are necessary....Masterful.” —Kaye Gibbons, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Original and spellbinding.” —Lorrie Moore, The New York Review of Books
“Savage Beauty is irresistible.” —Amanda Foreman
“One seldom sees this level of brilliant, hands-on research in contemporary literary biography. The result is this compelling, keenly perceptive life of Edna St. Vincent Millay—with its own ‘savage beauty.’” —Toni Morrison
“Riveting and revealing...Savage Beauty sweeps before it all previous biographies of Millay, which by contrast seem uninformed and too discreet.” —J. D. McClatchy, The New York Times Book Review