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The laughter of Aphrodite: a novel about Sappho of Lesbos

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University of California Press,
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Best-selling classicist Peter Green recreates the life and times of the Greek lyric poet Sappho in this beautifully conceived, sharply detailed work of historical imagination. We meet Sappho at the age of fifty, when she is shaken by her fatal and final love affair with Phaon. She narrates her own story from the vantage point of self-questioning middle age, and her candid meditations make intimate, engrossing reading. Only fragments of Sappho's poetry survive. In imagining Sappho's life Green found his task "rather like that of an archaeologist reassembling some amphora from hundreds of shards--of which more than half are missing." Yet, in his synthesis of historical evidence and ebullient invention, Green produces a seamless, moving, and persuasive portrait. He recreates Sappho's life by interweaving her surviving poetry into the narrative, not as quotations, but as her own imagined speeches and thoughts. Sappho's life spanned one of the most exciting periods in Greek history. Green's novel, full of details about daily life on ancient Lesbos, draws the reader into the political and social climate of her world: the civil strife accompanying the transition from aristocracy to mercantilism, the household relations between slave and aristocrat, the details of sea travel in the Aegean. Green wrote the novel while living on Lesbos, and his graceful rendering of the landscape, the rhythms of the seasons, and the varied flora of Sappho's island pervades the narrative. Sappho's poetry reveals a direct, spontaneous woman who eschewed artifice and embellishment. Green's extraordinary talent captures those qualities and brings this woman of unflinching honesty very much to life.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 504f2c2d-4c96-23c7-9aa6-54d412b2c1e5
full_title laughter of aphrodite a novel about sappho of lesbos
author green peter
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-02-20 04:19:32AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Green, Peter, 1924-
author_display Green, Peter
available_at_santafe Main Library
detailed_location_santafe Main
format_category_santafe Books
format_santafe Book
id 504f2c2d-4c96-23c7-9aa6-54d412b2c1e5
isbn 9780520079663
item_details ils:.b10481497|.i13619214|Main|Fiction Green, P|||1|false|false|||||*CHECK SHELF*||mn||
itype_santafe Regular Circ
lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_santafe Fiction Green, P
owning_library_santafe Santa Fe Public Library
owning_location_santafe Main Library
primary_isbn 9780520079663
publishDate 1993
record_details ils:.b10481497|Book|Books||English|University of California Press,|c1993.|274 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_santafe ils:.b10481497|.i13619214|On Shelf|*CHECK SHELF*|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Biographical fiction, Greece -- History -- To 146 B.C. -- Fiction, Lesbos (Greece : Municipality) -- History -- Fiction, Sappho -- Fiction, Women poets, Greek -- Greece -- Lesbos (Municipality) -- Fiction
title_display The laughter of Aphrodite : a novel about Sappho of Lesbos
title_full The laughter of Aphrodite : a novel about Sappho of Lesbos / Peter Green
title_short The laughter of Aphrodite :
title_sub a novel about Sappho of Lesbos
topic_facet History, Sappho, Women poets, Greek