Author(s): Linda Hamalian
Biography, Memoir & Autobiography
Caresse Crosby rejected the culturally prescribed roles for women of her era and background in search of an independent, creative, and socially responsible life. Poet, memoirist, advocate of women' s rights and the peace movement, Crosby published and promoted modern writers and artists such as Hart Crane, Dorothy Parker, Salvador Dalí , and Romare Bearden. She also earned a place in the world of fashion by patenting one of the earliest versions of the brassiere.
Behind her public success was a chaotic life: three marriages, two divorces, the suicide of her husband Harry Crosby, strained relationships with her children, and legal confrontations over efforts to establish a center for world peace. As the first biographer to consider both the literary and social contexts of Crosby' s life, Linda Hamalian details Crosby' s professional accomplishments and her personal struggles. The Cramoisy Queen: A Life of Caresse Crosby also measures the impact of small presses on modernist literature and draws connections between key writers and artists of the era.
In addition to securing a place for Crosby in modern literary and cultural history, The Cramoisy Queen: A Life of Caresse Crosby contributes to the field of textual studies, specifically the complexities of integrating autobiography and correspondence into biography. Enhanced by thirty-two illustrations, the volume appeals to a wide range of readers, including literary critics, cultural historians, biographers, and gender studies specialists.