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The Mirabelles by Annie Freud

The Mirabelles

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Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2010.

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The Mirabelles is Annie Freud’s second collection, and a quick glance at the contents page reveals a similar penchant for highly arresting titles we might recognise from her first book, The Best Man That Ever Was; should we turn to ‘Cod’s Roe for a Crying Woman’ first, or
does ‘Sting’s Wife’s Jam Has Done You Good’ take your fancy? Though however much the titles here might draw us in, or draw attention to themselves, it’s the alacrity, ardour and aplomb evident time and again in the poems themselves which really impress; the way sensuousness, desire or disappointment are alloyed to the picaresque or the encomiastic; the way her narratives can carry us into unusual emotional territory and end up striking strange, beguiling chords.

Overall, the book achieves a convincing point of balance between a predilection for the quirky or whimsical and weightier, deeper shadings by admitting both into the same spaces. It also feels, from line to line, thoroughly convincing, distinctive and effortless. In The Mirabelles, Freud has produced that very rare bird indeed: the excellent second collection.


The Mirabelles by Annie Freud

Annie Freud's award-winning first collection, The Best Man That Ever Was, introduced readers to a remarkably versatile new voice. The Mirabelles delivers a similarly exhilarating cornucopia - the Mask of Temporary Madness , Marc Almond , mini-novels, a sonnet long, Carottes Vichy , and the most gripping account of a billiard game you'll ever read. However, in a new sequence derived from family letters, Freud has invented almost a new kind of writing: neither 'found' nor 'made' in the conventional sense, these poems are profoundly moving, and startling in their boldly unfashionable lack of irony. Elsewhere The Mirabelles is full of the world-stuff - the clothes and food, the art and social intrigues - with which we dress and conceal our deeper emotions and appetites. In the end, this is a book about reality and its representations, and the truth and lies we tell about ourselves.


Original, moving, smart and memorable. --Andrew Motion, author, In the Blood

Original, moving, smart and memorable. Andrew Motion, author, In the Blood

About the Author

Annie Freud grew up in London and graduated in English and European Literature at the University of Warwick. She has one daughter, May.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2010


Annie Freud

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Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan


80 pages


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