cover of book

The Wendys
by Allison Benis White
Four Way Books, 2020
eISBN: 978-1-945588-59-4 | Paper: 978-1-945588-42-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3602.E66346A6 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

“Because it is easier to miss a stranger / with your mother’s name,” Allison Benis White instead writes about five women named Wendy as a way into the complex grief that still lingers after the death of a sixth Wendy, the author’s long-absent mother. A series of epistolary poems addressed to Wendy O. Williams becomes an occasion for the speaker to eulogize as well as reflect on the singer’s life and eventual suicide: “What kind of love is death, I’m asking?” In the section devoted to Wendy Torrance, the fictional wife from The Shining who was bludgeoned by her husband, the speaker muses on the inadequacy of language to resolve or even contain grief in the wake of trauma: “A book is a coffin. Hoarsely. A white sheet draped over the cage of being.” Ultimately, The Wendys is a book of silences and space in which tenderness and violence exist in exquisite tension. “If to speak is to die,” White writes in “Ignis Fatuus,” “I will whisper.”

See other books on: Death, Grief, Loss | Grief | Mothers | Psychic trauma | Violence against
See other titles from Four Way Books
Nearby on shelf for American literature / Individual authors / 2001-: