Valles's terse, learned, harsh collection is one of the standout first books of the year. The polyglot poet, who has lived in Amsterdam, Britain, Poland and Russia, stirred up controversy with her recent...
Alissa gives an overview of the book:
Not a god's weapon of mass destruction, just a flint spark driven up a dry hillside,
on Ararat, of course, let into the stables like a stray animal to share at the trough,
until an intruder stealing a horse saw it and thought he could make it work for him
down in the brothels of humanity; now anyone can touch it: junkies, canteen cooks
and poets, and for them it consumes its own origins, air, eagerness and brightness;
twice orphaned, by gods and by earth, just to give bodies of clay an hour's warmth
Orphan Fire, i
Alissa Valles was born to an American father and Dutch mother in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and studied languages, literature and history at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in London and at universities in the U.S., Poland and Russia; she worked for the...
The remarkable fluency that Valles attains and maintains over nearly six hundred pages may owe something to her complete immersion in the translation process over a relatively short period of three years....