Published by Louisiana State University Press
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Exploring modern-day problems that range from strained familial relationships to an individual’s struggle to find her place in the world, Kennedy’s powerful new collection focuses on the 21st century’s intricate connections to the past. Drawing on history as well her personal life, she explores relationships and bodies—both physical and textual. Kennedy underscores human frailty in poems that dramatize the lives of British women who kept recipe manuscripts containing both medicinal and culinary “receipts” during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Their trials with illness, childbearing, and aging resonate with contemporary poems about the vulnerabilities of the body in our “enlightened” age of science. From the seventeenth-century Irish servant Mary Carryll to a contemporary care-giver for a cancer patient, these women leave traces of themselves in diaries, letters, and stories that mark their dedication to the healthy, working body and mind as a source of human dignity.
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