Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Asylum by Jill Bialosky

Asylum

Best Seller
Asylum by Jill Bialosky
Hardcover $27.00
Aug 04, 2020 | ISBN 9780525657095

Also available from:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Aug 04, 2020 | ISBN 9780525657095

    Also available from:

  • Aug 04, 2020 | ISBN 9780525657101

    Available from:

Product Details

Praise

“Asylum’s form—a hybrid, nonlinear series of numbered, untitled lyric poems and fragments—gives Bialosky’s lyric instincts a more epic platform, allowing her to play daringly and inquisitively with time and place . . . By turns symphonic, operatic, Dantean, intimate, timeless, and mythic, this quietly ambitious project is very much a book for the autumn of 2020.” —Lisa Russ Spaar, Los Angeles Review of Books

“As we grapple with a new normal, Jill Bialosky’s poetry might be the antidote we all need. Her new book Asylum, a compilation of prose and poetry, evokes despair, survival—and most importantly, hope.” —Katie Couric, Wake Up Call

“Haunted by her sister’s suicide and by political and environmental collapse, Bialosky finds refuge in nature and language, all the ways ‘the mind seeks / to keep itself from torture.'” The New York Times Book Review 

“The elegiac fifth collection from Bialosky transcends genre, weaving tragedy, language, and perception in a poignant work of personal and public exploration . . . Here she explores language as an all-encompassing source of longing, consolation, redemption, and preservation . . . Erudite and devastating, Bialosky’s timely collection reverberates with a rare empathy and resilience.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“This graceful, spiraling, often elegiac, always vivid book-length meditation casts shifting light on family, self, and the drama of the living world. Whatever is illuminated, so precisely, so gracefully, is also shadowed. [Bialosky’s] touch is light yet trenchant, her cadence entrancing, her wonder elating, her sorrows chilling . . . We enter ‘asylum of thought / & afterthought,’ the inner precincts of a poet tracing the nexus between mind and body, human and nature, life and death, while sheltering the small flame of hope, so tenuous, so necessary.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Reading Jill Bialosky’s poems feels like taking a slow and lone journey into the depth of the human heart, yet all the while being accompanied and guided by an intimate voice. An urgent and expansive book, Asylum is a must-read for anyone who ponders over life and death and all that comes in between.” —Yiyun Li

“Jill Bialosky’s Asylum is a collection of terse forms and psalms that add up to a powerful, full-throated deliverance. Each trope captures life and death matters—a singing, a keening, within each taut, well-made release. Rather than craving a physical space, asylum is sought in language, metaphor, meditation, yoga, query, and hope. And one of the joys of reading this collection is to feel its poignancy through verbal accretion. Asylum is experimental and, at times, nearly classical, but always intently alive with lyrical truths.” —Yusef Komunyakaa

“Bialosky’s strongest collection to date. So compelling is her vision, so urgent her perceptions, that her grief becomes our grief, her world ours. We are with her on every step of a search that ends in art, and in a language that can save us.” —Grace Schulman

“From personal story of a sister’s suicide, to chants and whispers and lullabies assembled in a way as to create a book of days for this moment of terror and elegy, this book investigates into the ability of language to provide answers and comfort at the moment when there is no comfort to be found, and no answers: when all we can do is ‘at the edge of the Hudson to watch the tugboats / & remind ourselves we live on an island of buildings. / The mayor warned us not to go out.’ And yet, the poet insists—beautifully, gracefully, memorably—on seeking a sanctuary: ‘asylum / in which the mind seeks / to keep itself from torture, asylum of thought / & afterthought, asylum / where birds mate & nourish.’ Indeed. May we all find such asylum.” —Ilya Kaminsky

“A refuge; from grief, and from threat of extinction. Bialosky weaves together the big cosmic time of trees and the natural world, with the detailed, apparently ordinary time of one woman’s everyday life. The litany of memory, individual and collective, becomes fugue, becomes mantra. Whether you are a yoga lover, a tree lover, a mother, a reader, a sister, you will find something to love in this luminous collection.” —Sarah Ruhl

Be the first to know!
More from Jill Bialosky and book picks sent right to your inbox
More from Jill Bialosky and book picks sent right to your inbox
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Dismiss
Thanks!
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top