Emily Dickinson: My Wars Are Laid Away in Books

WED, OCT 9, 2002 (1:09)

One of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson remains largely an enigma. Alfred Habegger, author of The Father: A Life of Henry James, Sr., sheds new light on Dickinson in his biography, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson. In his new book, Habegger probes provocative questions: Was she a lesbian? Why did she refuse to publish her poetry, and why was this refusal so integral to her work? Using legal archives, congregational records and previously unpublished fragments of Dickinson’s own letters, Habegger provides a rare personal glimpse into Dickinson’s troubled brilliance and shows how Dickinson tuned her “voice” and turned her personal life into a work of art.

+ BIO: Alfred Habegger

Alfred Habegger, formerly a professor of English at the University of Kansas, lives with his wife, Nellie, in northeastern Oregon. His previous books include Gender, Fantasy, and Realism in American Literature and a prize-winning biography, The Father: A Life of Henry James, Sr.

Cambridge Forum