“Creates a gallery of portraits with ghostly vision, guts, and candor . . . Devotion is a splendid book—it will not only make you embrace the author and her family, warts and all, but will awaken and redeem your own memories.”
—Jewish Community News
“Devotion is a compelling coming-of-age story. It enfolds the reader just as a good novel does. In her absorbing memoir, Miriam Levine has also written the intellectual and artistic history of a woman. There is a natural assumption in her book that the materials of a woman’s life count, matter—and are as representative of American life and thoughts as a man’s. Devotion belongs, with Wordsworth’s Prelude, to those works of personal history which document ‘the growth of the poet’s mind.’ The mind, this time, belongs to a woman."
To Miriam Levine, “devotion” implies love and self-creation; to her mother’s generation, it meant martyrdom and self-denial. The domain of this memoir is the interval between those attitudes. Devotion is the expression of a sensibility that trusts the physical—a facet of women’s existence that is at once ennobling and primary, transcendent and spiritual. Affirming her deep connection to people, Levine draws from a rich expanse of memories, misgivings, epiphanies, and associations to tell of the adventures and dangers of her emergence as a woman writer.
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