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Let Us Imagine Her Name, by Sue Walker

June 30, 2017

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“These lyric investigations of female lives and voices coalesce as a journey into the heart of both language and reality itself. Greta Garbo comes out of her hiding place in history to share a recipe for human insight; Hypatia contemplates the cosmology of fate; and Susan Sontag’s ghost confesses the truth about ‘truth.’ Walker’s capacity for invention is dazzling and inexhaustible… This book is daring, erudite, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Let us now imagine Walker’s name among our essential Southern voices.”

—Carey Scott Wilkerson, author of Threading Stone and Seven Dreamof Falling

Let Us Imagine Her Name is as remarkable as any book I’ve read in a long time: a memoir of a life that began with a huge strike against it, by a woman trying on identities to find one that best fits. Sue Walker’s writing sparkles. The whole book is an amazing tour de force certain to fascinate and regale.”

—X. J. Kennedy, author of In a ProminenBar in Secaucus

“Adrienne Rich once said, ‘Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you.’ Herein lies the brilliance of Sue Brannan Walker’s Let Us Imagine Her Name. Walker shows us, through her wondrous experimentation with form, the ways that language shapes identity, consciousness, and the very foundations of the social order. Even more provocatively, she reveals the implicit politics buried in even our smallest linguistic choices. Part deconstruction, part homage, Walker’s new book forges its own architecture, an exquisite cathedral made to house portraits of revolutionary female figures. For each woman, each persona, each voice, Walker cultivates a life in language that is unequivocally her own. In short: this is a magnificent collection.”

—Kristina Marie Darling, author of Dark Horse

“I am jumping from woman to woman and strangely, wonderfully, I am finding myself on every page! I think every woman reader will. It feels important, this book. It feels fresh, new, honest, deeply felt and bravely, uniquely, brilliantly said. It tells us what we know but do not know we know—the ways we are complex, the ways we suffer and overcome suffering. . . . It is all here, but on its knees before the poet. . . . We allowed to hurt, but wit makes the pain of seeing and understanding bearable and ultimately amounts to revelation.”

—Pat Schneider, author of Another River: New and Selected Poems and How the Light Gets In

Sue Walker is a poet, author, and editor. She is a former Poet Laureate of Alabama.

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