Autobiography of Red

Autobiography of Red

A Novel in Verse

By Anne Carson

Vintage, Paperback, 9780375701290, 160pp.

Publication Date: July 27, 1999


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

About the Author
Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living. A former MacArthur Fellow, awards for her numerous books include the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Red Doc> was recently awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize and the inaugural Folio Prize. Her first full poetry collection, SHORT TALKS, was published by Brick Books in 1992 and is now presented as a new edition in 2015: SHORT TALKS: BRICK BOOKS CLASSICS 1.