Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Note: reading at the Bright Hill Center celebration in Treadwell, 2-3ish today. Full-length reading there in 2014.

Thank you for the deluge of birthday wishes on facebook and elsewhere, and here's another post about A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage by novelist Scott G. F. Bailey.

Here are a few clips to entice:
A couple of days ago I finished Marly Youmans' beautiful 2012 novel A Death at The White Camellia Orphanage. I come here not to review the book, except to say that it's a wonderful novel and I recommend it to you. I can't review it because not only do I not know how to write a proper review, I'm not sure what to say about the novel. I don't know how to talk about it without diminishing it.
Or this:
Youmans gives us a nontraditional story arc, which surprises and succeeds entirely.
...and the novel, as I say, or should have said by now, works beautifully on this symbolic level just as it works beautifully on the surface level. It's quite a feat.
It is, however, a deeply moral book, written in gorgeous glittering prose, entirely earthbound in its story and not afraid of poking into the dark corners of real life but also fearlessly--if in a more subtle way--pointing away from that darkness.
I am grateful to Scott Bailey for visiting and re-visiting the book . . .


  1. I went over and read the review and really enjoyed that! Everything that Scott G F Bailey writes is a NEW twist for me on the novel - and perfectly valid twists too!
    A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage is like a wonderful and rich cake! Some like the icing, some the decoration and marzipan - others like the cake itself and that wonderful feeling of 'Oh! So many good things in this!'

    I ate my slice of that cake very quickly, but went back for another slice and went a little more slowly. I savored all kinds of goodies.

    Being greedy, I shall be taking another slice in the future too!

  2. Thank you, Paul. I am glad that different people see different things...

    Falling over... Good night!

  3. What I forgot to do was wish the author a happy birthday. So happy birthday Marly Youmans, already!

  4. You gave me a present on the birthday eve, without realizing it! So thank you. Much appreciated.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.