“Unless one practices medicine or works with medical literature, one is unlikely to encounter the enormous mass of words used to describe the things that go wrong with us. But the words are out there, multisyllabic and waiting.”
“Several friends and journalists have noted the absence of text in Singapore. I have the most immense respect for the authority of words; that’s why I’ve not allowed any into the book.”
“You don’t need an MFA to be a good writer, but you need readers who understand what you are trying to do, and won’t let you get away with not doing that.”
“In particular with these essays, I don’t think they can be finished in the sense that they represent an imprint, a moment of motherhood in my life. It’s hard for me not to want to rewrite aspects of them as my thinking or experience changes.”
Confessional poetry—particularly work that deals with the end of a relationship—is exceptionally tricky to pull off without coming across as navel-gazing and self-centered. Edith, however, is a remarkable work of pathos, using the inward gaze to illuminate both the self and everything around that self.