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MacMurray, Rose 1921-1997

MacMurray, Rose 1921-1997

PERSONAL:

Born 1921, in Chicago, IL; died 1997, of complications from hip surgery; married; husband's name Frank; children: three. Education: Graduate of Bennington College.

CAREER:

Taught poetry in elementary schools.

WRITINGS:

Afternoons with Emily (novel), Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rose MacMurray was an educator whose novel Afternoons with Emily was published after her death. MacMurray taught and translated poetry and spent many years writing this work, which she left in the care of her children. It is a fictional story that explores the personal life of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), from her birth to her death, as well as the time and place in which she lived.

Emily Dickinson, daughter of an influential family, lived in Amherst, Massachusetts. She abandoned her education to become a recluse, writing more than a thousand poems, very few of which were published in her lifetime. In this fictional account, she befriends Miranda Arethusa Chase, a girl fifteen years her junior. Miranda's mother died when she was nine, and her father placed her under the care of private tutors. They eventually move to Amherst, where the intelligence and independence of the then thirteen-year-old girl comes to the attention of Dickinson, who invites her to visit. Miranda becomes a confidante to her mentor, and the relationship, which extends into Miranda's adulthood, becomes somewhat volatile. MacMurray's story is set against the backdrop of the Civil War, providing insight for fans of both Dickinson and nineteenth-century history.

Richmond Times-Dispatch contributor Jay Strafford wrote that the novel ‘shines with authenticity of language and plot. MacMurray's vivid and graceful fiction gives a depth to Emily that no biography, however good, could attain."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of Afternoons with Emily, p. 63.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2007, review of Afternoons with Emily, p. 5.

Library Journal, April 15, 2007, Kathy Piehl, review of Afternoons with Emily, p. 74.

Publishers Weekly, February 12, 2007, review of Afternoons with Emily, p. 63.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 10, 2007, Jay Strafford, review of Afternoons with Emily.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://armchairinterviews.com/ (September 30, 2007), Mayra Calvani, review of Afternoons with Emily.

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (September 30, 2007), Kerrily Sapet, review of Afternoons with Emily.

Daily Dickinson,http://dailydickinson.com/ (September 30, 2007), brief biography.

St. Petersburg Times Online,http://www.sptimes.com/ (May 13, 2007), Vikram Johri, review of Afternoons with Emily.

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