Books by Anne Carson

FLOAT by Anne Carson
Released: Oct. 25, 2016

"A radiant delight for Carson's many admirers."
A rich gathering of short works by poet and scholar Carson (An Oresteia, 2009, etc.), joining past to present and ancient to modern. Read full book review >
AN ORESTEIA by Anne Carson
adapted by Anne Carson, translated by Anne Carson
Released: March 24, 2009

"It's a great narrative, whose savage grandeur holds an undiminished power to enthrall. But is Carson's unconventional conflation of its components indeed 'an Oresteia' for our time? That's another story."
The versatile poet and scholar breaks new ground by retelling an old story—the classical tragedy of the House of Atreus, as dramatized by the three greatest tragedians of Athens's Golden Age. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 11, 2001

"Slight, and slightly weird, but worth a look. "
Is it verse or is it fiction? What a question. The most essential fact is that this is a story, a love story told by poet and novelist Carson (Men in the Off Hours, 2000, etc.) in 29 brief, lyrical "tangos" (which are kind of like stanzas, only a lot more romantic) that have little quotations from Keats in front of each. Basically, it's Girl-meets-Boy, Girl-gets-Boy, Girl-and-Boy-grow-old-and-get-tired-of-each-other. A marriage, in other words. Narrated mostly by the wife, it becomes quickly lugubrious in a sort of Liv Ullmann/Sylvia Plath-ish kind of way ("I believe / your taxi is here she said. / He looked down at the street. She was right. It stung him, / the pathos of her keen hearing"), but it is a vivid portrait all the same, razor-sharp and as quick as a flea. The lightness of touch is the saving grace—narrated in standard prose, this would be at once unremittingly drab and thoroughly old hat—that makes this doomed marriage different from all other doomed marriages we have read about. It even makes it feel somewhat less doomed. Read full book review >
MEN IN THE OFF HOURS by Anne Carson
Released: March 3, 2000

" Complex, yet surprisingly and enormously readable."
Elaborately and often successfully innovative, this sixth book by classical scholar and poet Carson proves that poets love Read full book review >
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED by Anne Carson
Released: April 14, 1998

From the fragmentary remains of the sixth-century B.C. Greek poet Stesichoros, Carson (a McGill classics professor) fashions a contemporary tale of "identity memory eternity," a postmodern extrapolation that blurs the distinction between the figural and literal. If Stesichoros's mostly lost narrative about a red-winged monster reads like an experiment by Gertrude Stein, Carson's deliberately fractured epic reimagines the Greek poet's Geryon as a confused and lonely young man, who nevertheless still sports wings, which seem to be an objective correlative of his differences, especially his homosexuality. Surprisingly readable, this verse novel evolves into a fairly straight-forward story about Geryon's travels in South America, where he runs into the great love of his life, Herakles, who, in Carson's version, is not Geryon's killer, but his emotional slayer, and also shares with Geryon a love of volcanoes. As enigmatic as it may sound, this mock epic peroration on the color red seems to differ little from Kermit the Frog lamenting the difficulties of being green. Fans of Guy Davenport's dense fictions will appreciate Carson's innovative style, which shouldn't be confused with, say, Vikram Seth's more formal and transparent verse novel. Read full book review >