Ugly Duckling Press: The Most Foreign Country by Alejandra Pizarnik
"One of the most fascinating legacies in Argentine literature." — The Argentina Independent
First published in 1955 and now translated for the first time into English, The Most Foreign Country is Alejandra Pizarnik's debut collection. Here, the nineteen-year-old poet begins to explore the themes that will shape and define her vision: the solitude of the poetic self, the longing for artistic depth, and the tenuous nearness of death. By turns probing and playful, bold and difficult, Pizarnik's earliest poems teem with an exuberant desire "to grab hold of everything" and to create a language that tests the limits of origin, paradox, and death.
Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972) was a leading voice in twentieth-century Latin American poetry. Born in Avellaneda to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Pizarnik studied literature and painting at the University of Buenos Aires and spent most of her life in Argentina. In 1960, she moved to Paris, where she was influenced by the work of the Surrealists and participated in a vibrant expatriate community of writers that included Julio Cortázar and Octavio Paz. Known primarily for her poetry, Pizarnik also wrote experimental fiction, plays, a literary diary, and works of criticism. She died in Buenos Aires, of an apparent drug overdose, at the age of thirty-six.