Autobiography of Red-Anne Carson
Novel (in verse)
"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."
I've had this book on my shelf for five years without ever really reading it. I was hesitant because though I've only heard good things about Anne Carson, they've mainly been uttered by the poetry lovers of my acquaintance. I am not the biggest poetry reader so I guess for that reason, unfortunately, Autobiography of Red languished unread for so many years. At times I have to admit that while reading it I wondered how it differed from simply poetic writing because at times it just seemed like a well written story with 'unusual' punctuation choices. But I really don't know much about poetry so what can I say.
I loved this story with Greek names recognizable from obscure Greek mythology built into a wholly modern tale of identity and living as an outsider in Peru. Wings under a t shirt and a complete identification with red make this a great study of a character whose mystery is never compromised even as his flaws annoy you. This is a sensitive and strangely heartwarming story that vividly draws you through to the end. Told in glimpses and snatches of verse that walk the line between myth and modernity almost every line.
The last part was a bit jarring actually after the beautiful middle. The anachronistic interview seemed a bit too ironic as if the middle was too earnest and the ending needed to cut the reader off of the spell.