Governor General’s Literary Awards

Book cover for Norma Jeane Baker of Troy by Anne Carson

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy

By Anne Carson

New Directions Publishing

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy leverages a millennia-old story of beauty and war to animate a history of the male gaze and the nature of power wielded by privilege. Tracing its origins from ancient and modern forms, the book inquires into the history of language and being. It exposes the uncertainty and vulnerability that underpin our desire for ‘the precision of command.’ The oceanic pull of Carson’s poetry uses irreverence to lure and wreck our concepts of time, place and subject.”

—Peer assessment committee: David Groulx, Clea Roberts, Johanna Skibsrud

Synopsis

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy is a meditation on the destabilizing and destructive power of beauty, drawing together Helen of Troy and Marilyn Monroe, twin avatars of female fascination separated by millennia but united in mythopoeic force.

Headshot of Anne Carson

Biography

Anne Carson is a Toronto-born poet, essayist, classicist, and translator who has also taught at Canadian and American universities like McGill and Princeton. A Member of the Order of Canada with more than 20 titles to her name, she recently received a Princess of Asturias Award. Throughout her career, Carson’s work has earned her Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, two Griffin Poetry Prizes, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Lannan Literary Award, among many other honours. Anne Carson now divides her time between the US and Iceland.

Photo: Peter Smith

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