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By Cynthia Zarin

This beautiful prose debut from prize-winning poet Cynthia Zarin is a poignant exploration of the author’s reviews with love, paintings, and the shock of time’s passage.

Zarin charts the moving and complex parameters of up to date existence and kinfolk in writing that feels approximately fictional in its richness of scene, discussion, and temper. the author herself is the marvelously rueful personality on the heart of those stories, before everything a bewildered younger girl navigating the terrain of recent jobs and borrowed flats in a long-vanished manhattan urban. via the top, even if describing a newlywed trip to Italy, a child’s life-threatening disorder, Mary McCarthy’s dossier cupboard, or the internal lifetime of the New Yorker employees, this heritage of the center indicates us how continual the prior is in returning to us with fullyyt new lessons.

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Extra info for An enlarged heart : a personal history

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At home we had a small red truck. It looked like a large model of a matchbox car. Years later, when I married again, my stepson, who was maniacal as a child about cars, had hundreds of these: for years, my instep held the mark of those cars, from when I stepped on them at night, in the long dark hall of the apartment where we then lived. This truck was a stick shift. It was impossible for me to drive it. When I went up even a small slope in the seaside town where we then lived, down a long rackety road on the way to a studio that belonged to a famous painter, and about which, many years later, there would be a long protracted lawsuit which resulted in the view from that studio being ruined, I felt the weight of the truck behind me.

I pressed it. Almost immediately, a voice answered: low, made of amber even in the machine’s raspy throat. Ivetta was not in Sperlonga, she was in Rome. She did not know when we were coming and so she had waited this morning for us to arrive. We were to come up to the apartment. The apartment was on the third floor of the building; it was the sort of apartment which takes up one floor, so that the elevator opened directly into the foyer. Later, in New York, I would become acquainted with this kind of apartment, with walking sticks and umbrellas helter-skelter in a stand, mail on the table, and toile wallpaper in the foyer, always an apartment which belonged to the parents of friends, and seemed unobtainable to anyone of our generation, like Studebakers, or pianos with ivory keys, but then I found this exotic—it was like stepping unprepared onto a stage.

She told me that a month after moving into the apartment she had discovered that her husband was having an affair with a younger woman. Now less than a year later, they were divorced. When I first met this woman, whom I will call Joan, I felt I already knew her, because she so reminded me of the mother of a boy I had once loved. She had her long, wide, flat bones and straight brown hair that fell in a comma over her forehead. Both of them were from the South, and decisive. After I had left school, and my friend and I had parted, his mother came once to visit me in the small grimy city where I was bored and unhappy.

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