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Sundays on the Phone
The Rider Quintet, vol. 5
Mark Rudman

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2005 • 156 pp. 1 illus 5 1/2 x 9"

$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6785-7

"Rudman explores his insights with consideration, flair and wit, along with a clarity that's impressive."—Jacket magazine

Intimate account of the fierce, unsettling connection between son and mother.

In this moving lyric memoir, Mark Rudman explores his close but often fractious relationship with his mother, and presents a companion volume to his award-winning book, Rider, which concerned his relationship with his rabbi stepfather. Sundays on the Phone centers on the poet’s weekly Sunday morning phone calls from his mother, and builds on the verse narrative that defines Rudman’s unique role in 21st century poetry. These dialogues, both real and imagined, as well as the surrounding poems, are attuned to the emotional reverberations in every exchange between mother and son. We witness both the brutal tensions in their relationship and their wit and passion. From the first pages, in which Rudman revisits his childhood and his memories of adjusting to his mother’s second marriage, to the final pages, in which he slowly comes to terms with his mother’s death, this is a compassionate, compelling portrait.

Volume 5 of the 5-volume Rider Quintet. You may purchase the complete set here.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Again, Mark Rudman takes us where we are afraid to go—we're talking back to our progenitors. Honey on the numb tongue, these texts sweeten us into knowledge of family and loss. Brilliant!”—Hilda Raz, author of Divine Honors and Trans

Sundays on the Phone is moving and vivid, also brilliantly witty and ingenious in its employment of the dialogue form that Rudman has been reinventing with such originality over the past decade.”James Lasdun, author of Landscape with Chainsaw

From the Book:

“I went to Julia Richmond High
And then—my mother died.”

“It must have been awful.”

“I went to live with Dad.
You could say he had to take me in.

You know I was unwanted.
My parents had agreed to divorce when my mother Irene
discovered she was pregnant.
I only wish I’d never been born.”

I’m glad you were.”

“I’m glad you were too.”
—from “Bonespeak”

Author Photo

MARK RUDMAN received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Rider (1994). He teaches poetry at New York University.

Tue, 15 May 2018 12:58:28 -0500