In a letter to her mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Emily Dickinson said, "Biography first convinces us of the fleeing of the Biographied." Almost 150 years after her death Dickinson continues to flee and to fascinate. The familiar image, the "Myth," the shy recluse, disappointed in love, dressed in white, lowering baskets of black cake to neighborhood children from her window, reinforced by Julie Harris's portrayal in "The Belle of Amherst," is a tiny shard in the kaleidoscope of a complicated life. In his book, "A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century," Jerome Charyn says, "...she was a woman with volcanic powers--whose lightning rhythms and ragged rhymes seem to mirror our postapocalyptic age." We will take a fresh look at Dickinson through the mirrors of her family, her friends, her literary influences and her art.
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