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Piece by Piece: Selected Prose

Piece by Piece: Selected Prose

Rachel Hadas

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221-page paperback / 6" x 9" / ISBN 9781589881556 / Publication Date: 6/15/2021

“The depth, breadth, and height of scholarship in Piece by Piece is evident throughout, yet the writing is graceful and clear . . . In each of these thirty pieces, Hadas takes us on the scenic and historic route to our destination, and we’re grateful for the trip.”—Literary Matters

“Rachel Hadas, one of our best poets, has once again proved herself a lively, indispensable essayist. She has spent a lifetime falling in love with books, and it shows. In Piece by Piece she ranges superbly from Kipling and Salinger to thirtysomething contemporary poets. Her personal essays, poignantly evoking parents and friends, are haunting and intensely memorable. Hadas is not just a wise critic, but a vigorous, highly enjoyable one too.”―David Mikics, author of Slow Reading in a Hurried Age and The Annotated Emerson

From a Corfu classroom to an Accra art gallery to a spa in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, poet Rachel Hadas's prose ranges through space. Recalling a 1950's New York City childhood and long-departed parents, she reaches back in time. And since all the many-faceted work here engages with the world through texts, each piece overlaps with every other piece. Rich with a variety of connections in every essay or review, 
Piece by Piece is about books and about paying attention. It's about living.


"[A] powerful, autumnal book."―New York Times Book Review on The Golden Road

"An impressively wide-ranging and compassionate book."―Times Literary Supplement on The Golden Road

"Exquisite, polished, cerebral, and yet filled with womanly, workaday reflections, Hadas's work reminds us that poetry is both celebration and a craft to be honed carefully."―Library Journal on Halfway Down the Hall

"The internal paths and landscapes mapped by Hadas are often eerily alluring, her use of repetition and caesura beckoning the reader on. Threading and webs bind the collection, and it’s difficult not to get caught up in Hadas’s dark incantatory world."―Times Literary Supplement on Questions in the Vestibule

"Hadas is one of the most accomplished belle-lettrists, author of twenty books of poetry, essays and translations. As a writer, she is disarmingly adept at moving between the personal―often using relationships and events from her own life as the subject matter or springboard into poems and essays, but her writing is also deeply shaped and informed by her classical background and fluency with narrative structure and by her formal dexterity."―The Hudson Review on Questions in the Vestibule

"[A] thoughtful and lucid tale of love, companionship, and heartbreaking illness."―Lydia Davis on Strange Relation


Rachel Hadas is a poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of more than twenty books including Poems for CamillaQuestions in the Vestibule, and the memoir Strange Relation, and she is a frequent reviewer and columnist for the Times Literary Supplement. Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. She lives in New York City.

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