Author Talk and Book Signing: Julie Dobrow “After Emily” on Sun., April 7

Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest poets, but at the time of her death only a handful of her thousands of poems had been published. Now, more than a century after her death, learn about the two women who were instrumental in publishing her works and for creating the literary icon we know today. Join author Julie Dobrow at the Jesup Memorial Library on Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m. as she talks about her book “After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet.” “After Emily” was longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography.

When Dickinson died, few knew of her poetry and she asked her sister, Lavinia, to burn all of her work. However, Lavinia could not bring herself to destroy Emily’s poetry and instead she asked Mabel Loomis Todd to edit the work. Todd and Emily Dickinson had never met but they had corresponded and Todd used that insight to edit Dickinson’s poetry. Dobrow extensively researched the lives of Todd and her daughter Millicent Todd Bingham, who continued her mother’s work. “After Emily” weaves together the stories of the three women and shines a light on how the work of Todd and Bingham created the image of Dickinson have today. Dobrow highlights the growing tensions between Todd and the Dickinson family, as well as Bingham’s struggles with her mother’s obsession editing Dickinson’s work and her decision to carry on her mother’s work. This book will have readers seeing Dickinson’s work in new ways.

The Washington Post writes, “If you’re interested in “America’s greatest poet,” intellectual property issues or juicy behind-the-scenes literary history, ‘After Emily’ is your book.” And, Kirkus adds, “The author sensitively explores the (much-criticized) editorial choices Todd made and the question of who was responsible for the ‘legend’ of Emily-the-recluse-in-white.”

Dobrow is a professor in department of Child Study and Human Development as well as the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. She also serves as director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the university. Her writing has appeared in Boston Globe Magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications.

This talk is co-sponsored by Sherman’s Books and books will be on sale that night. For more information on Dobrow, visit www.juliedobrow.com and for more information on the talk contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 or mrice@jesuplibrary.org.