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Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

Winner of The A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry in 1998


Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson reinvents a genre with a 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. Autobiography of Red is a profoundly moving portrait of an artist coming to terms with the fantastic accident of who he is.

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A Novel in Verse





Vintage Canada