The Leafless American and Other Writings (hardcover)
Hardcover, sewn, jacketed, 128 pages, 5.5 x 8.5", 1991, 0-914232-83-5
Edited with an Introduction by Harold Billings.
Preface by Robert Creely.
Afterword by Gerald Burns.
"Rabble articles and labor squandered in creating them hardens the heart. Nations that are rich in parasitic goods are poor in spirit." So declares Edward Dahlberg in one of these essays. Praised for developing a prose style that is, in Paul Carroll's words, "a weapon of rage and authority. . . monumental and astonishing," his work is unsettling as he confronts the American psyche and morality, its declivities and hollow ambitions. This book is an excellent introduction to Dahlberg's enduring vision and exemplifies the several modes in which he excelled: autobiography, literary sketch, principled diatribe, and long poems of conscience.
"These twelve essays and two long poems are typical of Dahlberg's work. . . . Without question, the chief work here is the magnificent long poem, 'The Garment of Ra,' which embodies a lifetime of reading in simple diction and cadences." — Kirkus Reviews