Best Anne Carson books

Autobiography of Red

Anne Carson

Best price for this book: $ 9.98

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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

Float

Anne Carson

Best price for this book: $ 19.04

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From the renowned classicist and MacArthur Prize winner: a new collection that explores myth and memory, beauty and loss, all the while playing with--and pushing--the limits of language and form.

Anne Carson consistently dazzles with her inventive, shape-shifting work and the vividness of her imagination. Float reaches an even greater level of brilliance and surprise. Presented in an arrestingly original format--individual chapbooks that can be read in any order, and that float inside a transparent case--this collection conjures a mix of voices, time periods, and structures to explore what makes people, memories, and stories "maddeningly attractive" when observed in spaces that are suggestively in-between.
    
One can begin with Carson contemplating Proust on a frozen Icelandic plain, or on the art-saturated streets of downtown New York City. Or journey to the peak of Mount Olympus, where Zeus ponders his own afterlife. Or find a chorus of Gertrude Steins performing an essay about falling--a piece that also unearths poignant memories of Carson's own father and great-uncle in rural Canada. And a poem called "Wildly Constant" piercingly explores the highs and lows of marriage and monogamy, distilled in a wife's waking up her husband from the darkness of night, and asking him to make them eggs for breakfast.
    
Exquisite, heartbreaking, disarmingly funny, Float kaleidoscopically illuminates the uncanny magic that comes with letting go of expectations and boundaries. It is Carson's most intellectually electrifying, emotionally engaging book to date.

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho

Sappho

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By combining the ancient mysteries of Sappho with the contemporary wizardry of one of our most fearless and original poets, If Not, Winter provides a tantalizing window onto the genius of a woman whose lyric power spans millennia. 

Of the nine books of lyrics the ancient Greek poet Sappho is said to have composed, only one poem has survived complete. The rest are fragments. In this miraculous new translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sappho’s fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electric—or, to use Sappho’s words, as “thin fire . . . racing under skin.” 

"Sappho's verse has been elevated to new heights in [this] gorgeous translation." --The New York Times

"Carson is in many ways [Sappho's] ideal translator....Her command of language is hones to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth." --Los Angeles Times 

Eros the Bittersweet (Canadian Literature)

Anne Carson

Best price for this book: $ 9.15

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A book about romantic love, Eros the Bittersweetis Anne Carson's exploration of the concept of "eros" in both classical philosophy and literature. Beginning with, "It was Sappho who first called eros 'bittersweet.' No one who has been in love disputes her," Carson examines her subject from numerous points of view, creating a lyrical meditation in the tradition of William Carlos Williams's Spring and All and William H. Gass's On Being Blue.

Plainwater: Essays and Poetry

Anne Carson

Best price for this book: $ 10.44

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The poetry and prose collected in Plainwater are a testament to the extraordinary imagination of Anne Carson, a writer described by Michael Ondaatje as "the most exciting poet writing in English today." Succinct and astonishingly beautiful, these pieces stretch the boundaries of language and literary form, while juxtaposing classical and modern traditions.

Carson envisions a present-day interview with a seventh-century BC poet, and offers miniature lectures on topics as varied as orchids and Ovid. She imagines the muse of a fifteenth-century painter attending a phenomenology conference in Italy. She constructs verbal photographs of a series of mysterious towns, and takes us on a pilgrimage in pursuit of the elusive and intimate anthropology of water. Blending the rhythm and vivid metaphor of poetry with the discursive nature of the essay, the writings in Plainwater dazzle us with their invention and enlighten us with their erudition.

Glass, Irony and God (New Directions Paperbook)

Anne Carson

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Anne Carson's poetry―characterized by various reviewers as "short talks," "essays," or "verse narratives"―combines the confessional and the critical in a voice all her own.

Known as a remarkable classicist, Anne Carson weaves contemporary and ancient poetic strands with stunning style in Glass, Irony and God. This collection includes: "The Glass Essay," a powerful poem about the end of a love affair, told in the context of Carson's reading of the Brontë sisters; "Book of Isaiah," a poem evoking the deeply primitive feel of ancient Judaism; and "The Fall of Rome," about her trip to "find" Rome and her struggle to overcome feelings of a terrible alienation there.

Red Doc> (Vintage Contemporaries)

Anne Carson

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**New York Magazine's Top 10 Books of 2013**
**GoodReads Reader’s Choice Award Winner**

Some years ago I wrote a book about a boy named Geryon who was red and had wings and fell in love with Herakles. Recently I began to wonder what happened to them in later life. Red Doc> continues their adventures in a very different style and with changed names.

To live past the end of your myth is a perilous thing.

Nox

Anne Carson

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Anne Carson’s haunting and beautiful Nox is her first book of poetry in five years―a unique, illustrated, accordion-fold-out “book in a box.”

Nox is an epitaph in the form of a book, a facsimile of a handmade book Anne Carson wrote and created after the death of her brother. The poem describes coming to terms with his loss through the lens of her translation of Poem 101 by Catullus “for his brother who died in the Troad.” Nox is a work of poetry, but arrives as a fascinating and unique physical object. Carson pasted old letters, family photos, collages and sketches on pages. The poems, typed on a computer, were added to this illustrated “book” creating a visual and reading experience so amazing as to open up our concept of poetry. 50 color and black-and-white prints

Antigonick (New Directions Paperbook)

Anne Carson

Best price for this book: $ 7.39

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An illustrated new translation of Sophokles’ Antigone.

Anne Carson has published translations of the ancient Greek poets Sappho, Simonides, Aiskhylos, Sophokles and Euripides. Antigonick is her seminal work. Sophokles’ luminous and disturbing tragedy is here given an entirely fresh language and presentation. This paperback edition includes a new preface by the author, “Dear Antigone.”

Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides (New York Review Books Classics)

Euripides

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Now in paperback.

Euripides, the last of the three great tragedians of ancient Athens, reached the height of his renown during the disastrous Peloponnesian War, when democratic Athens was brought down by its own outsized ambitions. “Euripides,” the classicist Bernard Knox has written, “was born never to live in peace with himself and to prevent the rest of mankind from doing so.” His plays were shockers: he unmasked heroes, revealing them as foolish and savage, and he wrote about the powerless–women and children, slaves and barbarians–for whom tragedy was not so much exceptional as unending. Euripides’ plays rarely won first prize in the great democratic competitions of ancient Athens, but their combustible mixture of realism and extremism fascinated audiences throughout the Greek world. In the last days of the Peloponnesian War, Athenian prisoners held captive in far-off Sicily were said to have won their freedom by reciting snatches of Euripides’ latest tragedies.

Four of those tragedies are presented here in new translations by the contemporary poet and classicist Anne Carson. They are Herakles, in which the hero swaggers home to destroy his own family; Hekabe, set after the Trojan War, in which Hektor’s widow takes vengeance on her Greek captors; Hippolytos, about love and the horror of love; and the strange tragic-comedy fable Alkestis, which tells of a husband who arranges for his wife to die in his place. The volume also contains brief introductions by Carson to each of the plays along with two remarkable framing essays: “Tragedy: A Curious Art Form” and “Why I Wrote Two Plays About Phaidra.”