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Nancy Cunard (1896 - 1965)

Books by this author: Selected Poems
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Nancy Clara Cunard (10 March 1896 – 17 March 1965) was a writer, heiress and political activist. She was born into the British upper class and devoted much of her life to fighting racism and fascism. She became a muse to some of the 20th century's most distinguished writers and artists, including Wyndham Lewis, Aldous Huxley, Tristan Tzara, Ezra Pound and Louis Aragon, who were among her lovers, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Constantin Brâncuși, Langston Hughes, Man Ray, and William Carlos Williams. MI5 documents reveal that she was involved with Indian socialist leader VK Krishna Menon. In later years, she suffered from mental illness, and her physical health deteriorated. She died at age 69, weighing only 26 kilos (57 pounds), in the Hôpital Cochin, Paris.
    Praise for Nancy Cunard (1896 - 1965) 'There is plenty in the life to distract from the work, and recent efforts to bring her poetry back into view have suffered from disproportionate interest in her lovers, her money, her attire, her social status and the reverse Cinderella-arc of her fame and fortune. This new volume, which includes a substantial number of previously unpublished poems, gives her poetry the chance to free itself from the legend. It comes with an introduction by the editor, Sandeep Parmar, that is judicious and gossip-free; her clear-eyed advocacy situates Cunard's forty-odd years of work in its busy cultural and political contexts.'
    Patrick McGuinness, London Review of Books

    'This important collection showcases the formal and thematic diversity of Cunard's work, and illuminates an extraordinary body of work which passionately documents the crucial episodes of the twentieth century.'
    The Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society (UCL Press)

    'A bold heroine of the battle against the inexpressible.' - Ramón J. Sender

    'One of the major phenomena of history.' - William Carlos Williams

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