In Slowly, By Thy Hand Unfurled, a nineteenth century nameless and uneducated housewife records a remarkable diary of her dark, disintegrating journey. Trying to make sense of herself and to form a judgment of her life, she struggles in confusion to pierce the narrow limits of her understanding — of her time and place, of the realities of her nature. Romulus Linney has written an exquisite exercise in self-destruction, but it’s final strength rests in its naked yet compassionate treatment of human guilt and suffering. The diarist’s language is blunt and deformed, but it also reaches toward a lyricism as she sees the discrepancies between what she professes and what she practices — as a mother, a wife, and individual.
Slowly, By Thy Hand Unfurled
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"An extraordinary tour de force... The skill with which Linney has maintained the tone of a middle-aged, half-illiterate, self-deceiving woman is remarkable." —Saturday Review
ROMULUS LINNEY, acclaimed playwright of thirteen full-length plays including Laughing Stock and Childe Byron, is the author of two other novels, Jesus Tales and Heathen Valley. Linney has received numerous awards, including the National Critics Award for Best Play of the Year. Slowly, By Thy Hand Unfurled was first published in 1965.
“An extraordinary tour de force… The skill with which Linney has maintained the tone of a middle-aged, half-illiterate, self-deceiving woman is remarkable. Even more remarkable is the depth of the revelation he has achieved by this singularly difficult device.” —Saturday Review
” … Linney lays bare the heart and the disturbed mind of a namelss woman who might, indeed, have stepped not merely out of the past, but out of a canvas by Grant Wood… [T]he novel reaches its supreme lyrical moment — one in which the long-awaited triumph of language and the triumph of feeling (if not comprehension) dramatically coincide…” —Southern Review