MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And now, a comeback story from our friends at NPR Books. It's a summer reading pick from Parul Sehgal of The New York Times Book Review. The book is titled "I Await the Devil's Coming." It's about a lonely girl living in Montana, and it's just been brought back into print.
PARUL SEHGAL: In 1902, a moody young woman living in Montana published her diary. In its first month, it sold 100,000 copies, and its 19-year-old author, Mary MacLane, became notorious. She left her small town, lived hard and died young. The book went out of print. But this year, MacLane is back, republished in all her ecstatic paranoia. She sounds like an off-kilter Walt Whitman with odes to her red blood, her sound, sensitive liver.
She writes that she was consigned to life in a place of sand and barrenness, bored to tears in Butte, Montana. She dealt with it by spending most of her time taking long, angry walks, proclaiming herself a genius and chatting with imaginary devils. This book is like her sour little love song to herself, to ambition, and most of all, to her own willpower.
Today, I walked far away over the sand in the teeth of a bitter wind, she writes. The wind was determined that I should turn and come back, and equally I was determined I would go on. I went on.
BLOCK: Parul Sehgal is an editor with The New York Times Book Review. She's picked four more reissued or rediscovered favorites. You can read about all of them at nprbooks.org.
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