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Float

Written by ANNE CARSON
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: 10/25/2016
Price: $30.00
ISBN: 978-1-101-94684-8
open close ABOUT THE BOOK
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.

“A motley crew steers Float: Husserl, Picasso, Hegel, a chorus of Gertrude Steins, and Carson’s noble uncle Harry, not to mention the Greeks: late-arriving Odysseus, howling Cassandra, and a rather tetchy Zeus. What else would you expect from [this] renowned classicist, translator, and polymath? Whether one skims or dives, there are treasures to be found. Two playlets plumb family tragedy; [a piece] about the death of Carson’s brother’s wife is a heartbreaker; [two others] are goofy fun. The whole coheres, and the tether is Carson herself—her interests, erudition, and autobiography; the way she thinks, and writes, and occasionally, rhymes.” —Harper’s

“A radiant delight . . . a rich gathering of works joining past to present and ancient to modern. Carson is by temperament both experimental poet and traditional classical scholar—heavy on linguistic parsing and close reading on the one hand, and lightning bursts of metaphorical insight on the other." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
open close ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANNE CARSON was born in Canada and has been a professor of Classics for over thirty years. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations.