snurri: (Default)
[personal profile] snurri
Books 1-10.
11. The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron.
12. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith writing as Claire Morgan.
13. Surviving the Siege of Beirut: A Personal Account by Lina Mikdadi.
14. Mammoths of the Great Plains by Eleanor Arnason.
15. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.
16. The Robotics Primer by Maja J. Matarić.
17. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.
18. A Game for the Living by Patricia Highsmith.

19. Alcestis by Katharine Beutner. Alcestis, you might recall--though to be honest, I didn't--was the wife of King Admetus, who volunteered to take his place in death, descended to Hades, and was brought back by Heracles. Beutner takes the story and uses it to illuminate the lives of Greek women, something we don't read much of in the myths. Alcestis's life--everything, from her domestic activities to her sexuality--is bounded by first her father's house, then her husband's; it's only in her death that her life becomes unstructured and self-determined. (It's more complicated than that, but I don't want to give too much away, here.) Beutner's handling of the Greek gods is remarkable for its matter-of-factness; Alcestis is the granddaughter of Poseidon, and Apollo, Hermes, Hades and Persephone all appear here, manipulating mortals but manipulated in turn by the Fates and their own passions. The novel has a strong start, exploring Alcestis's relationships with her sisters and the other women in her life, since her own mother died in childbirth. It's the chronicle of the time in the underworld that makes the novel work, though. Although at times this section feels too unstructured (deliberately so, I think--see above about Alcestis's limits in life), it's there that she discovers who she is and what she wants. Self-knowledge has its tragic side, of course, but again that's something I don't want to give away. A welcome feminist perspective on the Greek tradition.
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


snurri: (Default)

April 2011

345 6 789

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags