Lesbian Book Review: "The Trouble with Emily Dickinson" by Lindsey D' Arcangelo

by Cynthia Rodriguez
First, a shout out to Alpha World Press, and Tracey Vandeveer, for doing an exceptional job in the tough world of lesbian publishing. Take a lookey at the website and you'll see it's all about lesbian books. By and for lesbians. Love it. I can see this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll approach Tracey about writing my OWN book there. *hint hint*. Okay, so that was pretty blatant of me, but moving right along. For more info on Alpha Press, check out: alphaworldpress.com
This book only took me about a week to read, which is pretty good timing for me, and you'll find out why...

"The Trouble With Emily Dickinson"
by Lyndsey D'Arcangelo
What a delightful read! Damn, that was a fun book! As light and fluffy as the pillow under my head as I read it, yet very poignant. Originally intended for young adults, complete with the big font, I recommend this book to anyone struggling with coming out, or any type of identity crisis for that matter. Although throughout the whole book I did think about what I call "Dawson's Creek Syndrome", in which teenagers in certain books, T.V, and movies seem to speak in a tongue way beyond their years. I'd think to myself, "Please, kids don't talk like that". Sure, some of them may, or maybe speaking more like that, which is a nice alternative to the usual, "Yo, whassup? what's good?". Even though I myself am guilty of still blurting out the slang here and there. The main character Josephine Jenkins a.k.a "J.J", I want her to be my new art buddy. Her best friend, "Queenie McBride", I want to sleep with her, and the love interest, often referred to as "THE Kendall McCarthy", I want a girlfriend just like that. The poetry "scenes" are beautiful, and you can really feel the chemistry between the characters so much that you sigh with jealousy, well, at least I did. That brings me to me next point, which is that this book helped me re-visit my old poetry days, and hanging out at the coffeeshops, and open mic nights. It also gave me a new appreciation of Emily Dickinson of course, (bringing lesbians together since 1830), who probably never imagined what an impact she'd have on the lesbian community.

On a side note, I'd like to mention a nice, enlightening experience I had just yesterday volunteering for "Books Through Bars", (which I'll be talking about more later), when one prisoner's letter requested a book on "love poems". I caught a glimpse of a book of poetry from Dickinson and smiled. Along with the package I included a note saying that may be what they were looking for.

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