The Beauty of the Husband
A Fictional Essay in 29 TangosBook - 2001
Since Glass and God , which was her first full-length collection published in Britain and which was nominated for the 1998 Forward Prize, Anne Carson has published a book a year to extraordinary critical acclaim. Her last two volumes, Autobiography of Red and Men in the Off Hours were both shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and she has received numerous North American awards, including the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.
In her brilliant new book, she tells a single story. A long-time love, now a crumbling marriage, unfolds in 29 'tangos' of narrative verse, informed by the romanticism of Keats, the wisdom of the classical world and, most importatnly, by Carson's own unique sensibility.
The unnamed narrator - sometimes 'I', sometimes 'the wife' - speaks of the man she calls only 'the husband', illuminating moments that are by turn sensual, erotic, painful and heartbreaking. The Beauty of the Husband is a work that explores these oldest of lyrical subjects - beauty, desire, love, betrayal - with freshness and devastating power.