First published as a thirty-seven-part work, by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop’s Burning Deck Press in 1980, Lyn Hejinian’s My Life has become firmly established in the postmodern canon. Her groundbreaking work contributed greatly to the community-centered, non-standard style of Language writing. In 1987, an expanded (forty-five-part) version was published. In 2003, Hejinian published a related, ten-part work called My Life in the Nineties. Wesleyan University Press introduced a fresh printing of these important texts in 2013. My Life and My Life in the Nineties includes the entirety of the forty-five-part prose poem sequence, My Life, as well as the ten-part work, My Life in the Nineties.
Hejinian offers an experimental intervention into the autobiographical genre, exploring the ways in which language shapes each person’s memories and subjective experiences. With masterful poetic craftsmanship, she uses the prose poetry form of the “new sentence.” The work is composed of sentences without clear transitions. The narrative gaps she creates invite readers to bring in their own interpretations and to experience the non-narrative character of memory and the influence of language on the formation of memories.
To order a copy of My Life and My Life in the Nineties, visit the book page, here.