Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Actually a biography

In college, I read Kathleen Norris' Cloister Walk and thoroughly enjoyed her writing. So when I saw her Virgin of Bennington at a library book sale for $1, it was an easy buy decision.

From reading the cover copy, I thought it was going to be about her college years and the time afterward--how she led a wild life in NYC to developing faith and moving to one of the Dakotas. But really, the book was about her mentor and employer, Betty Kray, whom she met in NYC.

While Kray's life was interesting and important, particularly for American poetry, a mini-biography wasn't what I was expecting. It seemed as if Norris started out writing about herself but found Kray to be more fascinating.

The book itself wasn't that bad; it was just so wrongly marketed and has such a misleading cover copy that I think most people will be a bit puzzled and then annoyed that Virgin isn't at all what they thought it would be.

Ah well, at least it was my nonfiction read for the month. And it was an appropriate follow-up to Billy Collins, too.

Rating: 6/10


Kim said...

I'm currently reading Norris's Vocabulary of Faith. Also worth reading. It's thought provoking, as some of what she says I don't entirely agree with, or think she's taking too much of an "all-inclusive don't offend" approach. But worth reading. It's been a good supplement to my devotional time.

rachel said...

Had you read anything by her before?