Powerfully moving, haunting letters to a friend. Maryse Holder, brilliant academic and feminist, on sexual/spiritual odyssey to explore love, lust and everything in between AS FREELY AS A MAN. Paid for it with her life. Give Sorrow Words: Maryse Holder's Letters From Mexico was published posthumously by Grove Press (1979).
Available Kindle, Paperback
& audiobook from Amazon.
Audiobook read by
Edith Jones Rubin.
Praise for Give Sorrow Words
A COMPELLING DOCUMENT. The letters are HER LEGACY, HER TESTAMENT, HER VINDICATION.
The New York Times Book Review
BRILLIANT. She recorded everything, held nothing back, seemed to her own guardian angel floating above her AS SHE WENT AT THE WELLSPRINGS OF DESIRE. A POWERFUL, DISORDERING BOOK.
REVELATION: She’s as GOOD if not BETTER than her male literary counterparts - KEROUAC, BURROUGHS, MAILER – MEANER, WITTIER, WILDER, AND FRESHER.
Vanalyne Green, Chair of Fine Art, University of Leeds, UK
GIVE SORROW WORDS has been part of my permanent collection (30 years or so), crossed the ocean five times, been on different shelves in five different countries. It is very challenging but well worth it and the inspiration it inspired.
Pd Lyons, Poet
“Dear Edith, This is ________, writing with a belated thanks for the incredible book you sent me. I was deeply affected by the text. It inspires me, cinematically and beyond. I am pondering ways it could be seen again, and more fully. I love the idea of a TV series but am not the woman to do it, considering my current obligations–I will, of course, share the book with whoever will listen.”.
Sent to Edith Jones by somewhat heavy, young, female cultural icon. Guess who!
A SISTER, AN ADVENTURESS, A MADWOMAN. DARING as an early HENRY MILLER, self-destructive as JANIS, the voice of GENET IN A WOMAN, the MOST AUTHENTIC VOICE in a woman since the new consciousness hit women.
From Introduction by Kate Millett
It was Edith Jones Rubin who told me to read the letters of Maryse Holder, an account of her life in Mexico. I read her first letter and my “brights” came on. Night after night running to clubs, drinking, dancing, sending out atomic “fuck me” signals to gigolo hustlers, cholo gangster hombres, con artists in borrowed suits.
“ ‘I am desperate to be loved.’ I say to them, ‘I went to Cornell and majored in literature.’ With purple lips, a snarling mouth, metallic breath and the boring, whining ‘Pleeeeeez, I want to fuck you.’ I succumb. Sex, how can I say, lacks the personal. I miss my feminism.” She is LENNY BRUCE, hip, raw, funny, without apology. HENRY MILLER, setting out to fuck every woman in Paris.
She could not see that her feet were on the inexorable path of destruction.
The letters are written to Edith Jones Rubin, her publisher, mentor and best friend. They are written especially for women who are out there searching for that which will set them free. MARYSE HOLDER, LIKE JOAN OF ARC BEING BURNT AT THE STAKE, HAS SIGNALED TO US THROUGH THE FLAMES
Marvin Braverman, Screenwriter, Playwright - The Living Theatre of New York
Editions of Give Sorrow Words
The End Is Where We Start From:
The Business Letters of Edith Jones Rubin and Raymond Larrett
A companion volume to the 2013 edition of "Give Sorrow Words: Maryse Holder's Letters From Mexico," this slim volume of correspondence lays out, in excruciating detail the unusual, fraught, oft-times contentious relationship between Edith Jones Rubin, publisher, and Raymond Larrett, ebook designer and general factotum, as they attempt to republish and promote Give Sorrow Words. By turns pragmatic, paranoid, affectionate, argumentative, bitter, and beautiful, these letters will surely one day rank with Socrates and Plato, Lincoln and Douglas, or Abbott and Costello, among the great philosophical debates of this or any age.
Holder & Jones