Autobiography of Red

Autobiography of Red


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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


National book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Title:Autobiography of Red
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Autobiography of Red Reviews

  • Laurie Neighbors

    Oh, you should read this book. It's smart and sweet and tender and original. It's erotic, but just under your skin. It's a novel in verse, but don't let that deter you. You can pick it up off the shel...

  • Kenny

    “Sometimes a journey makes itself necessary.”Anne Carson ~~ Autobiography of RedAnne Carson’s Autobiography Of Red took my breath away. I don't think I've felt this way about a book since I firs...

  • Mariel

    What do they think about? Floating in there. All night.Nothing.That's impossible.Why?You can't be alive and think about nothing. You can't but you're not a whale.Why would it be different?Why should ...

  • Michael

    An arresting novel-in-verse about art, desire, and abuse, Autobiography of Red blurs the line between the mythic and the mundane. The work charts the brief life of a marginal figure from classical myt...

  • Edward

    If this is poetry, then I guess I don't really understandwhat poetry is. If it's not about rhyme, or meter, sound, or the controlled use of precise, flowing, poetic language, then it seems to resemble...

  • Emma

    "Who can a monster blame for being red?" ...

  • ?Misericordia? ?????? ????

    While I do appreciate the imagery, at times it became annoyingly random:Q:Well Goodnight Then they said and drove him up Those hemorrhaging stairs to the hot dry Arms To the ticking red taxi of the ...

  • Jessica

    I read this book when I was about twenty, and it was the greatest thing that I'd ever read. Then I purposely avoided rereading it for over a decade after that, terrified that it couldn't be as incredi...

  • Mir

    Seldom have I seen a writer so maximize the balance between raw, grated, difficult, emotional pain and beautiful words that make me want to clutch them to my bosom and squeeze them with delight while ...

  • Thomas

    One of those books that everyone else loves and I just did not get, oops. Autobiography of Red has so many things I find relatable and should have liked more: a main character who experienced abuse in...