Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living. Her books include Autobiography of Red; The Beauty of the Husband; Decreation; If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho; Men in the Off Hours; and Plainwater, all available in Vintage paperback.
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.
“A mischievous blend of genres that is difficult to classify, but a joy to read. . . . A companion piece to the now-classic Autobiography of Red, [it] continues her effort to revive the pleasures of narrative verse, and, facing the dread of mortality, to create spaces that are suspended in time. . . . In Red Doc>, which can [like Autobiography] be read as fiction or poetry, darkly whimsical moments abound, and they charm. . . . Carson delights in the kinetic energies of danger and desire that drive most novels, [and] shuffles the book’s real-time narrative with memories and dreams . . . Her poetry lets us surrender to the moment, then it surprises with action . . . Since the end returns us to the beginning, in a sense, with G revisiting his mother on her deathbed, it all may as well have been a dream. Either way, it's a memorable ride.”
—David Varno, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The events in Red Doc>, not so much recounted as erupting, have an instability suggestive of Alice in Wonderland; their narration could be the tossing and turning [found in] Finnegan’s Wake. Their sequence belongs to no earthly clock but to one marking comet time. Red Doc> doesn’t address us. It talks to itself and permits us to eavesdrop while giving us no particular assistance in making out what we raggedly hear about our times, about art, and about being human. What seeps out from a partly closed door is a sign that it is supremely worth hearing, and we should try to listen better. Every little while a phrase emerges of such poetic force that it hooks us and pulls us in. . . . What shines in Red Doc> is Carson’s lines. This is not easy reading . . . the difficulties are indeed considerable. [But] we have no sense they are gratuitous: Something very worthwhile is going on. . . . As with a roller coaster, the transitions make us look forward to the next splendid plunge. And we plunge.”
—Richard Eder, The Boston Globe
Alfred A. Knopf