- By Carmen L. Oliveira Louis Schwartz

Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares

  • Title: Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares
  • Author: Carmen L. Oliveira Louis Schwartz
  • ISBN: 9780813530338
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rare and Commonplace Flowers The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares Rare and Commonplace Flowers a Brazilian bestseller tells the story of two women Elizabeth Bishop the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet sought artistic inspiration in Brazil There she met and fel

    Rare and Commonplace Flowers a Brazilian bestseller tells the story of two women Elizabeth Bishop, the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, sought artistic inspiration in Brazil There she met and fell in love with Lota de Macedo Soares, a self trained Brazilian architect This dual biography brilliantly researched, and written in a lively, novelistic style follows theirRare and Commonplace Flowers a Brazilian bestseller tells the story of two women Elizabeth Bishop, the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, sought artistic inspiration in Brazil There she met and fell in love with Lota de Macedo Soares, a self trained Brazilian architect This dual biography brilliantly researched, and written in a lively, novelistic style follows their relationship from 1951 to 1967, the time when the two lived together in Brazil The fact that these two women had an intimate relationship caused an uproar when it first came to public notice.The relationship started out happily, yet ended tragically In 1961, Soares became increasingly obsessed with building and administering Flamengo Park, Rio de Janeiro s equivalent to New York City s Central Park Though she had been the driving force behind the park s inception, the ultimate credit that was due her was stripped away because of petty politics and chicanery As Soares s career declined and Bishop s flourished, their relationship crumbled.Rare and Commonplace Flowers is a tale of two artists and two cultures, offering unique perspectives on both women and their work Carmen L Oliveira provides an unparalleled level of detail and insight, due to both her familiarity with Brazil as well as her access to the country s artistic elite, many of whom had a direct connection with Bishop and Soares Rare pictures of the two artists and their home bring this unique story to life.

    1 thought on “Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares

    1. I read this book in dribs and drabs, probably the least conducive reading pattern for a novel-biography that requires a good bit of focus on Brazil and its politics (when I know nothing about Brazil and its politics). I was so pleased that this book gave vivid focus to the long-term relationship between Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares. I knew nothing about Soares before reading this book, and she sounds like she was both a remarkable, creative, passionate person and a pain in the butt [...]

    2. The story is mesmerizing but I agree w other reviewers that it gets bogged down by way too many details of the pomlitical shenanigans re the Park. Personally i loved the film too!

    3. This book is a kind of imagined biography. In a way, you could say all biographies written after the death of the protagonists are imagined, but this one seems particularly like a novel. Unfortunately, it's not a very good novel. It is emotionally oversimplified and plays quite a bit like a soap opera.It also paints a very unsympathetic portrait of Elizabeth Bishop. Not that there's anything wrong with an unsympathetic portrait, per se-- though she is one of my poetic heroes, she doesn't have to [...]

    4. I would give this 2 1/2 stars if I could. As an admirer of Bishop's poetry, I was curious about her great international love story with Lota de Macedo Soares. It's clear that the book is meticulously researched, and relies heavily on primary sources, but I found Oliveira's narrative tiresome. Perhaps something is lost in the translation, perhaps the folksy interjections of "sit back, dear reader, this story is long and heartbreaking" appeal to others, but I'd prefer a more traditional biography. [...]

    5. Assisti o filme primeiro, gostei muito e só depois fui descobrir que era baseado em livro. Obviamente, quis logo ler o livro também! E me surpreendi porque a história do filme diverge em vários pontos da do livro. Tem umas intrigas a mais, a presença da Mary é mais forte, alguns eventos ocorrem em ordem diferente. Gostei ainda mais do livro, que aborda mais a Bishop e a Lota em seus caminhos. É comovente o final, e uma pena o distanciamento que foi ocorrendo entre elas. As duas protagonis [...]

    6. Too many political parts on this book. I didn't love it. I only finished it because I can't stand to start a book and not finish it, even if it's boring as hell. At the end, there's a little less politics and a bit more of the story of Bishop and Lota's relationship, so I liked it better. Really sad story though.

    7. Reading this, I couldn't get past the terrible feeling that this poorly written, fictionalized "biography" of Bishop's 15 year relationship with Lota would make both women flip in their graves. Whatever this is, it's not scholarship, and while parts of the narrative are undoubtedly true, their sum is monstrous, undignified and unfair.

    8. Once I started, I could not stop reading this deliciously written biographic novel. I regret, however, that much of the richness of the book and the language resources used cannot be translated even for a very good translator for they are very typical of the Portuguese language.

    9. Interesting to learn about Elizabeth Bishop's life. Learned a great deal about Brazil in the 1950's, 60's.

    10. dont know how they made the translation so good, but it's so so good. better than any other text i've read about Bishop, in that it has some of her flavoring and isn't concerned with evaluating.

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