Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) By Anne Carson Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


Carson transposes Geryon, the winged, red monster from Greek myth into the modern world, where he is a depressed, artsy, gay teenage boy. In the myth, Herakles is Geryon's murderer. In Carson's story, Herakles is Geryon's lover. In a modern setting where myth collides with hockey practice, television, babysitters, and love triangles, Carson creates a haunting effect. Geryon is a boy like any other boy, a monster like any other monster, contemplating his boyness, his monsterness. — Hanna Yost

A most unusual "autobiography" begun at age five by the red, winged Geryon. He records with words and his camera his abusive brother, elusive lover, and conducive travels with a fixation on volcanoes and an endpoint in Peru, where Geryon's mythological life may simultaneously hold, and erupt.

Mike Hare

This is definitely the type of story where you learn more from each reading. I found the writing and plot beautiful and found many meaningful moments in this retelling of the classic Greek myth of Geryon and Hercules (Herakles in the Greek). As someone familiar with the traditional trials of Hercules, this was a very interesting dive into the background of one of the titular enemies of this classic hero. I highly recommend it for anyone partial to the classical studies, but the content and writing is perfect for contemporary readers too. — Annabelle Mackson

Description


The award-winning poet reinvents a genre in a stunning work that is both a novel and a poem, both an unconventional re-creation of an ancient Greek myth and a wholly original coming-of-age story set in the present.

Geryon, a young boy who is also a winged red monster, reveals the volcanic terrain of his fragile, tormented soul in an autobiography he begins at the age of five. As he grows older, Geryon escapes his abusive brother and affectionate but ineffectual mother, finding solace behind the lens of his camera and in the arms of a young man named Herakles, a cavalier drifter who leaves him at the peak of infatuation. When Herakles reappears years later, Geryon confronts again the pain of his desire and embarks on a journey that will unleash his creative imagination to its fullest extent. By turns whimsical and haunting, erudite and accessible, richly layered and deceptively simple, Autobiography of Red is a profoundly moving portrait of an artist coming to terms with the fantastic accident of who he is.

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist  

"Anne Carson is, for me, the most exciting poet writing in English today." --Michael Ondaatje

"This book is amazing--I haven't discovered any writing in years so marvelously disturbing." --Alice Munro 

"A profound love story . . . sensuous and funny, poignant, musical and tender." --The New York Times Book Review

"A deeply odd and immensely engaging book. . . . [Carson] exposes with passionate force the mythic underlying the explosive everyday." --The Village Voice

About the Author


ANNE CARSON was born in Canada and has been a professor of Classics for over thirty years. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations.

Praise For…


"This book is amazing--I haven't discovered any writing in years so marvelously disturbing." --Alice Munro

"A profound love story...sensuous and funny, poignant, musical and tender." --The New York Times Book Review 

"A deeply odd and immensely engaging book.... [Carson] exposes with passionate force the mythic underlying the explosive everyday." --The Village Voice


Product Details
ISBN: 9780375701290
ISBN-10: 037570129X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: July 27th, 1999
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries