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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