A New Statesman / Observer Book of the Year
‘She pinpoints the collision of oracle and anachronism.’ – Teju Cole, Observer
Anne Carson dazzles us, book after book, with her inventiveness, her ranging imagination, and the way her work utterly changes our perspectives. With Float, she goes further still: exploring myth and memory, beauty and loss, all the while playing with – and pushing – the limits of language and form. Within this beautifully designed box, there are twelve individual booklets that can be read in any order: conjuring a mix of voices, time periods and structures to explore what makes people, memories, and stories ‘maddeningly attractive’ when observed in liminal space. One can begin with Carson puzzling through Proust on a frozen Icelandic plain, in the art-saturated enclaves of downtown New York City, or atop Mount Olympus as Zeus ponders his afterlife. There is a three-woman chorus of Gertrude Steins embodying an essay about ‘falling’, and an investigation of monogamy and marriage as Carson anticipates the perfect egg her husband is cooking for breakfast. Exquisite, heartbreaking, disarmingly funny, Float illuminates the uncanny magic that comes with letting go of boundaries. It is Carson’s most intellectually electrifying and emotionally engaging book to date.