Rose Solari reads “Margaret in Oxford” from her debut novel A Secret Woman
“[In A Secret Woman,] Rose Solari explores the eternal literary theme of self — who we are, who are the ones we love, and how we invent and reinvent these people, trying always to paint ourselves into the vast canvas of life and history. A very promising fiction debut.” Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler loves Rose Solari’s debut work of fiction for its sense of the eternity. This is one of the many reasons all of Rose Solari’s work must be treasured. It plays on life motifs, flips, forms, and languors upon the archetypes formed of human experience. We have spoken previously of Rose’s reverence for the myth in modern day. We even looked before at A Secret Woman’s sense of itself as being both poem and novel—a universal form of speech. And both of these ideas permeate the work of Rose Solari and make even the most personal poems (see “A Story“), even poems most crystallized in memory (See “My Mother’s Piano”) feel ageless. These are the themes: “Who we are, who are the ones we love, how we invent and reinvent these people, [how we always try] to paint ourselves into the vast canvas of life and history.” And for the reader of Rose Solari, all of this, like a perfect sphere of intention, coalesces in the character description of Margaret from a novel which is quite literally out of time.