As in her poetry, Levertov's descriptions and characterizations can be flawless; her ability to relate an incident is at once timeless and immediate, boundless and searingly personal. 'These tesserae have no pretensions,' Levertov notes. She is right--these lovely, lyrical remembrances are too true and spare ever to invite such criticism.—Publishers Weekly
Tesserae, the small individual pieces of glass or stone that make up a mosaic, is an apt title for this series of memoirs by Denise Levertov. Rather than being a completed autobiography, these collected memoirs are, for the author, fragments of an unfinished mosaic. Each of the twenty-seven pieces of Tesserae explores a memory vital to Levertov’s life; each is complete in itself and set here chronologically. And, as in any good mosaic, each piece reflects at different angles creating a play of light which gives this self-portrait its living complexity. Tesserae offers for the first time the unique memoirs of "a poet who may just be the finest writing in English today." (Kirkus Reviews).