Read Ladies Night at the Dreamland by Sonja Livingston Online


At the Dreamland, women and girls flicker from the shadows to take their proper place in the spotlight. In this lyrical collection, Sonja Livingston weaves together strands of research and imagination to conjure figures from history, literature, legend, and personal memory. The result is a series of essays that highlight lives as varied, troubled, and spirited as America iAt the Dreamland, women and girls flicker from the shadows to take their proper place in the spotlight. In this lyrical collection, Sonja Livingston weaves together strands of research and imagination to conjure figures from history, literature, legend, and personal memory. The result is a series of essays that highlight lives as varied, troubled, and spirited as America itself.Harnessing the power of language, Livingston breathes life into subjects who led extraordinary lives--as rule-breakers, victims, or those whose differences made them cultural curiosities--bringing together those who slipped through the world largely unseen with those whose images were fleeting or faulty so that they, too, remained relatively obscure. Included are Alice Mitchell, a Memphis society girl who murdered her female lover in 1892; Maria Spelterini, who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope in 1876; May Fielding, a "white slave girl" buried in a Victorian cemetery; Valaida Snow, a Harlem Renaissance trumpeter; a child exhibited as Darwin's Missing Link; the sculptors' model Audrey Munson; a Crowwarrior; victims of a 1970s serial killer; the Fox Sisters; and many more....

Title : Ladies Night at the Dreamland
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780820349138
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ladies Night at the Dreamland Reviews

  • Lori
    2018-12-06 13:50

    This woman takes words and makes magic with them. Well, if not magic, a magical weave of fact and speculation. Like ghost stories, but not to startle. She brings a woman in an old photograph to life. It is always a woman or a girl. Sometimes there are more than one. A lot of dear little girls broken and discarded in 'Some Names and What They Mean'.I like Cook answer to the heartbroken young woman, "at least it was only love she lost, and "nothin' so bad as being poor."

  • Mandy Kirkendall
    2018-12-06 12:04

    I can't get over this book. As a woman, as a reader, as a writer -- the whole cohesive entity is something to be studied, something to luxuriate in. Beautiful turns of phrase and starkly, detailed imagining make the pages fly, even as your brain is shouting at you to go slower, to soak up every last morsel, every last crumb. There's one sentence I kept returning to, thumbing back time and again. It's early on, on page twenty: "A ghost is a woman so tired of holding her tongue she becomes nothing but tongue, slick arc of pink, licking the world that once licked her flat."The final chapter perfectly encapsulates the mind of a writer, as she imagines herself speaking with a ghost Susan B. Anthony on the eve of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. Not only does she speak to Susan, she imagines pulling her into that night itself, both of them in drop-waisted dresses and bobbed hair. "'I only wanted to stand with you for a time,' I say, 'and this is a day I thought you might like to see.'" This care, this respect and devotion taken time and time again in regards to the women she details in the pages fully resonates. This is a book that lingers on even after you shut its covers. The ghosts in its pages rise up and hover just outside your periphery. As they should, as they should.

  • Renée
    2018-12-13 12:49

    Integral to "Ladies Night at the Dreamland" is Sonja Livingston herself—her singular life is greater because she includes the collective lives of women who have come before. Livingston’s book becomes “a place of possibility, the Dreamland, where nothing is lost.” While the “Dreamland” was an actual theater, the writer of these essays has the ability “to call out names and listen for voices [she] might recognize.” The conjuring is such that we don’t realize we recognize these voices until Livingston brings forth narration for their long-lost souls. Combined with personal essay, her use of perception and interiority brings to life women of different eras. Some of these essays are story driven, for example, “Mad Love: The Ballad of Fred and Allie,” about unrequited queer love, while others are associative and anecdotal, for example, “Big,” about “Big Maybelle” whose “music’s not jazz so much as blues, not blues so much as soul.” In either method and with great breadth, Livingston creates spare and intimate essays.

  • Jenny
    2018-11-19 18:10

    Sonja Livingston, a true wordsmith, weaves a tapestry in prose in her latest novel Ladies Night at the Dreamland. This series of vignettes gives insight into the lives of various women both famous and obscure. Often haunting, but always thought-provoking and beautiful, this book is a must-read for everyone.

  • Valorie Hallinan
    2018-12-19 14:54

    Sonja Livingston is one of my favorite new authors. Her collection of essays are hauntingly beautiful, and so well written. Especially meaningful because many are about women with ties to upstate New York, where I live. My full review is on Books Can Save A Life:

  • Lauren
    2018-12-06 12:14

    Labeled as literary nonfiction, Ladies Night at the Dreamland is an eclectic but enchanting collection of narrative essays on an assortment of American women throughout history. Some are well known but most are long forgotten.Ms. Livingston has a way with words, and she brings these women and their stories to life. My biggest quibble is the lack of brief biographical sketches of the women profiled. At least for me, a few of the stories took time to appreciate because I didn’t know the details behind the person or event and could therefore not appreciate what Ms. Livingston was trying to say and do with the story.That aside, Ladies Night at the Dreamland is one of those books that I found difficult to put down. Highly recommended.

  • Kristine
    2018-12-01 13:10

    Ladies Night at the Dreamland by Sonja Livingston is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late February.I need to preface my review by saying that this is not the book I expected it to be. I had thought that it would be a standard-issue, single-plot novel, but it turned out to be neither-here-nor-there, meandering, near-beat-poem prose. It was first-person, yet above the world and all knowing, rather than the aloof third-person voice you typically see in historical fiction. Interesting, but not my jam.

  • Eileen Hall
    2018-12-18 13:11

    An interesting book of imagined essays and writings about various famous and not so famous girls and women from history.Their place in time, but also out of time.My favourite is Freeze Frame.I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher University of Georgia via Netgalleyin return for an honest unbiased review.

  • Debs
    2018-12-15 14:59

    4.25 starsI'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this collection of essays, but I was absolutely delighted by Livingston's wonderful way with language. I fell into every piece wholeheartedly, and they offered an escape into the lives of women who came before me and are all remarkable in their own rights. Some of the stories were familiar to me, most were not. All were appreciated.

  • Debbie
    2018-11-23 14:58

    Apparently, I did not see the fact that this was a book of short stories and essays. I was under the impression that this was a book about flappers and jazz music. I was wrong. I will not be reviewing this book on my usual sites. I made a mistake and it's not the author's fault. I will be putting 3 stars on Goodreads without a review. I'm so sorry for the mistake as it was all mine.

  • Elizabeth Osta
    2018-12-15 12:12

    This remarkable collection takes the reader on a journey into the hearts of women full of intelligence and desire with words that startle for their images and beg to be read again for their beauty. One is left to wonder with the author about the lives exposed and marvel at the sleight of sentences that lead through Dreamland.

  • willowdog
    2018-11-18 16:01

    Little LGBT, but wonderfully written. What I thought was going to be about a dance hall was in actuality about the author pitting herself or channeling dead women. Very interesting concept and execution.

  • Cathy
    2018-12-14 16:01

    Excellent writing and compelling subjects--Sonja Livingston gets better and better. Every sentence is carefully wrought with an Intriguing and often unique use of syntax. She's one of the very best new writers in our country.

  • Jumana
    2018-12-08 12:59

    Loved this book! Really beautiful writing. The author re-imagines the lives and struggles of women of the past, mingling in her own experiences and memories.

  • Lee Ann
    2018-12-12 15:17

    Love her writing, very poetic and beautiful. A series of essays about women from the past. Just lovely.

  • Terrie
    2018-12-02 17:14

    This book was a wonderful combination of fact, folklore and imagination. Sonya rocks!