Summary

Loosely following Dante's epic by fashioning her own riveting account into three distinct parts, Eileen Myles brings her unparalleled brand of raw intellect and insight to her latest novel, The Inferno. The first part of the story, mesmerizing readers with its ripple of memoir, tells the saga (or hell) of a poet girl. The second, on the surface, provides instruction on how to write a poem--but it also pulls a clever bait-and-switch by informing readers how to become a lesbian as well. Myles's exposition of lesbianity, in fact, includes six pages of female genitalia that rival anything Henry Miller ever produced. The third and final part of the book is a fictional proposal to a funding organization in which the author obliges the foundation's request to supply them with her career narrative, but instead of the tedious sanitized version, she offers a bluntly truthful one. Full of travel disasters, bad readings of wonderful poems, and death, this last section is Myles's Purgatorio--a litany chronicling the career of a poet and her writing life. Myles's rebellious spirit is fully present here as she injects her signature blurring of memoir and fiction, poem and essay, to reinforce her status as one of America's most groundbreaking writers. This eagerly anticipated follow-up to her landmark Cool for You will not disappoint fans of Myles or of modern literature itself.