The Book Of Hulga

Paperback | March 25, 2016

byRita Mae ReeseIllustratorJulie Franki

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The Book of Hulga speculates—with humor, tenderness, and a brutal precision—on a character that Flannery O’Connor envisioned but did not live long enough to write: “the angular intellectual proud woman approaching God inch by inch with ground teeth.” These striking poems look to the same sources that O’Connor sought out, from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Edgar Allan Poe to Simone Weil. Original illustrations by Julie Franki further illuminate Reese’s imaginative verse biography of a modern-day hillbilly saint.

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The Book of Hulga speculates—with humor, tenderness, and a brutal precision—on a character that Flannery O’Connor envisioned but did not live long enough to write: “the angular intellectual proud woman approaching God inch by inch with ground teeth.” These striking poems look to the same sources that O’Connor sought out, from Gerard Ma...

Rita Mae Reese is the author of the poetry collection The Alphabet Conspiracy. A past Wallace Stegner Fellow, she lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

other books by Rita Mae Reese

The Alphabet Conspiracy
The Alphabet Conspiracy

Paperback|Feb 1 2011

$23.30 online$23.50list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:104 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:March 25, 2016Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299308146

ISBN - 13:9780299308148

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From the Author

Rita Mae Reese is the author of the poetry collection The Alphabet Conspiracy. A past Wallace Stegner Fellow, she earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Read from the Book

Because she wanted to be closer to God she took off all of her clothes. She unnamed them as they came off God like water all over the drowning Over and over and over God but under too deep under everything stays under except God+ God. One nation under Hulga. Nation like a fist in the small of her back That was years ago is how now felt then Now covering her body at last. —“Because She Wanted,” © The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
 
0
Feast Day
 
1
The Given Lines
Revising History
The Reward
J-O-B
With Regina at Lourdes
The margin is for the Holy Ghost
Isn’t
 
2
How to Lose a Leg
What Her Mother Knew When She Heard
Welcome to Milledgeville
Hulga’s Fairy Tales
On the Problems of Empathy
In Which She Reads the Humorous Tales of Edgar Allan Poe
First Dream
Phenomenology of Sow
Exegesis: The Tempest
Hulga as Sara in The Book of Tobit Who, Possessed of a Demon, Was Given Seven Husbands and Killed Each on Their Wedding Nights
 
3
Milledgeville
Hazel Motes’s Sonnet
Your Body Is a Temple of the Holy Ghost
The Lame Shall Enter First
The Life You Save
A Bird Sanctuary
Moral Error Theory
Interlude: The Case of the Missing Virgin
The Red Clay Virgin
The Vanishing Point
Hide & Seek
Immaculate
At 36, Hulga Speaks of Love
Immaculate Rejections
Second Dream
 
4
Casting Call for Temps Mort
Interior of Hayloft, Day
After Hours of Staring Out at the Pond
Because She Wanted
Mrs. Freeman Knows the Signs
Birth
Post-op
 
5
The Grandmother’s Sonnet
Manley Pointer’s Sonnet
The Misfit’s Sonnet
Displaced
There’s wood enough within
Learning to Pray. Again
Everything That Rises
 
6
After Flannery’s Death, Regina Cleans Her Room
Flannery O’Connor’s Peacocks Go to Heaven after She Dies
Pieta with Regina
Flannery, Are You Grieving?
 
Appendix: Quotes from Simone Weil
Notes

Editorial Reviews

“If this rich collection of poems on [Flannery] O’Connor’s life, family, work, and religious philosophy is any indication, the wildly talented Rita Mae Reese is part of that die-hard fan club, too. It would be challenge enough for most poets to write a compelling sequence on any great artist, but Reese doesn’t just succeed in creating moving, original poems on O’Connor—she also inhabits the rhythms, tones, and voices O’Connor used in her own work.”—Tahoma Literary Review