Longlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award
Hooked is a stunning new collection of seven poems about seven famous or infamous women: Myra Hindley, Unity Mitford, Zelda Fitzgerald, Dora Carrington, Carson McCullers, Jane Bowles, and Elizabeth Smart. Each of these women was hooked on, and her life contorted by, an addiction or obsession. Here we have seven variations on the insoluble conundrum of sexuality – each in a remarkably distinct, authentic voice.
Carolyn Smart brilliantly recreates seven lives of great colour. These women, all born before the end of World War II, struggle to find – or escape – their roles in a society hostile to female intelligence and ambition. Here are the agonies of the half-lived life; talents and voices that are lost or go astray in seven different ways, at a time before the greater freedoms that Feminism brought to the Western World. Whether these women have artistic success or not they are, in these astonishing poems, devastatingly articulate about their difficult lives.