Presenter of the National Book Awards

2005 National Book Awards Finalist
Fiction

René Steinke

Holy Skirts by René Steinke René Steinke

Holy Skirts

William Morrow & Co.

Photo credit:Marion Ettlinger

About the Book

A colorful imagining of the real-life Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s turbulent story of love, marriage, poetry and art in the early 1900s, using actual incidents from her life.

About the Author

René Steinke is the author of The Fires. She is the editor in chief of The Literary Review and teaches creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Judges' Citation

A delightful novel in myriad ways but none more than in the feast of language it offers us and a heroine who is both guileless and irresistible. In this fictional rendering of the life of poet and performance artist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, René Steinke has resurrected a remarkable woman and her times with vivid, sensual detail. She also unflinchingly addresses the questions: How is art made? At what cost? Why does it matter? Her explorations go to the heart of feminism and modernity.