Autobiography of Red
A Novel in Verse
By Anne Carson
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375701290, 160pp.)
Publication Date: July 27, 1999
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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
The award-winning poet Anne Carson reinvents a genre in Autobiography of Red, 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 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
Anne Carson lives in Canada.