, a creative poet of the 19th century, was known only by a small circle during her lifetime. It wasn't until after her death that most of her poems were published. Her life and work still fascinate readers and are studied widely. Listed here alphabetically by title.
by Jamie Fuller, Marlene McLoughlin (Illustrator). This fictional diary of Dickinson (wouldn't we love it if she had left a journal!) is a creative approach to biography. It really does come off well.
by Judith Farr (Editor), Emily Dickinson. If you want to know what scholars today make of Dickinson and her poetry, here's the book for you. Academic tone. Hardcover.
edited by Wendy Martin, 2002. This undergraduate-level collection of essays looks at Dickinson's work from a variety of scholarly perspectives. The timeline and bibliography are important resources for further study.
by Roger Lundin. 1998 biography of Dickinson focuses on her relationship to Christianity, and how her religious ambivalence affected her poems and life. Paperback.
by Cynthia Griffin Wolff, R. W. B. Lewis. This 1988 reprint is a classic study of Dickinson's life and how it influenced her poetry. Paperback.
by Polly Longsworth. A more recent biography, putting Dickinson into the context of her times. Paperback.
by Alfred Habegger. The author attempts a comprehensive biography, drawing on many contemporary and unpublished sources. He addresses some of the religious and political context of her life, and also her intimate life: who did she love?
by Richard Benson Sewall. National Book Award winner. This biography brings the woman, Emily Dickinson, alive. Not easy to do, with such a complex and secretive life. Paperback.
by Brenda Wineapple. Drawing on letters from Dickinson to Higginson (the ones he sent to her have not been discovered), the author puts together a story about their lively relationship, expressed almost entirely in letters (they only met twice). Both Higginson and Dickinson, often portrayed as rather dull personalities, come to life in this treatment.
by Lyndall Gordon. The author's big revelations, both controversial: that Emily Dickinson was likely afflicted with epilepsy, and that was why she secluded herself; and the affair between her brother Austin and married neighbor Mabel Loomis Todd and how the repercussions of that affair affected the public image of Emily Dickinson's work and life story.