“Prose,” a $20 softcover, features pieces from an earlier collection of Bishop’s prose, but also includes – for the first time – the original draft of “Brazil,” a travelogue that she repudiated in its initially published version after a dispute over editorial changes.
A third book, “Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence,” collects within a $35 hardcover the letters that Bishop exchanged over many years with New Yorker editors Charles Pearce, Katharine White, and Harold Moss. The magazine frequently published Bishop’s work and greatly enhanced her profile.
Although Bishop was born in Massachusetts and eventually died there, family circumstances and a wandering spirit took her far beyond her native state. After her father died and her mother was committed to a mental asylum, Bishop was sent to live with her mother’s parents in Nova Scotia, and she later lived with her father’s family in Worcester and Boston. Stints in Europe and Florida followed, and she lived for many years in Brazil after falling ill there in 1951 and decided to extend her stay.