Speaking of the beautifully explained inexplicable things in life Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red: A Romance (Knopf) is a gorgeous, astounding, poetic study of what things are like when you just happen to be red. The colour red. (Or read?)
Strange as it may seem, Carson manages to weave a novel in verse from what appear to be the most eclectic premises: a young winged red monster named Geryon, arising from a story written by an ancient Sicilian writer named Stesichoros, becomes infatuated with a golden young man who leaves him, in a story written by an apparently modern Stesichoros, who just happens to be around for an interview at the novel's end. But explanations here, as in this lovely book itself, are futile. As simply as may be allowed, Carson explores in Geryon's story the nature of peculiar fascinations, and the odd, as sorted, profound and incidental circumstances that make a person what he or she is.
As in previous work, such as Glass, Irony, and God (New Directions), she allows the classical and the modern to merge, her highly poetic sensibility breathing a vibrant life into classical scholarship. The result is stunning.