The World's Wife

The World's Wife

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That saying? Behind every famous man ...? From Mrs Midas to Queen Kong, from Elvis's twin sister to Pygmalion's bride, they're all here, in Carol Ann Duffy's inspired and inspirational collection, The World's Wife. Witty and thought-provoking, this is a tongue-in-cheek, no-holds-barred look at the real movers and shakers across history, myth and legend. If you have ever wondered, for example, how exactly Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, or what, precisely, Frau Freud thought about her husband -- then this is the book for you, as the wives of the great, the good, the not so good, and the legendary are given a voice in Carol Ann Duffy's sparkling and inventive collection. 'Carol Ann Duffy is a poet of skill, talent and great heart' Erica Wagner 'Duffy takes a cheeky, subversive, no-nonsense swipe with a dish clout at the famous men of history and myth. They don't have a chance in hell of dodging her quick-witted wallop as she relays their stories from their spouse's points of view' The Times 'Poignant, thoughtful, funny, rich and accessible' Ruth Padel, Guardian, Books of the Yearshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 10.16mm | 45.36g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3rd Revised ed.
  • 033037222X
  • 9780330372220
  • 29,539

About Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has written for both children and adults, and her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children's Verse, the Whitbread and Forward Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. In 2005, she won the T. S. Eliot Prize for Rapture. She was appointed Poet Laureate in more

Review Text

In her fifth volume of poetry, British poet Duffy presents to us the world of the liminal wife. Here we do not find annals of Victoria or Medea or Eleanor Roosevelt, but rather catch an imaginative glimpse into the lives of real and mythic women whose stories were not exactly their own: Mrs. Faust, Queen Herod, and Frau Freud, to name a few. Each of the 30 or so women featured in Duffys collection regales us with her side of her famous partners story, and the result is often insightful and always entertaining. Duffys verse is at once tight and resonant, her language colloquial and engaging, her rhymes refreshing. While a great strength of the volume is its thematic unity, these poems are better swallowed in short snatches, for the tone of the wifes lament is often so consistent that the uniqueness of each womans plight gets debased. For instance, Mrs. Tiresiass dilemma (All I know is this: / he went out for his walk a man / and came home female) differs quite a bit from Eurydices discomfort in hell (the one place youd think a girl would be safe / from the kind of a man who follows her round / writing poems), yet they come to us in a strikingly similar voice. Reminiscent of Sextons Transformations (1971), these works take the plots of some classic tales and give them a wry, mod twist.For lovers of myth, or just a good tell, this dark and darkly comic volume has much to offer. (Kirkus Reviews)show more