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This is the tale of Melena, five times married, mother of three, burlesque dancer, and "the toughest, hardest-assed woman to ever eat wood and bite nails." Located in history and memory, her life cracks open questions of identity at the heart of an American immigrant woman's experience and becomes an argument that no existence is ever truly marginal.
Eleni Sikelianos is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Loving Detail of the Living and the Dead, as well as a hybrid memoir, The Book of Jon. Sikelianos directs the creative writing program at the University of Denver.