Wrong Norma

  • $17.95

by Anne Carson

“Wrong night, wrong city, wrong movie, wrong ambulances caterwauling past and drowning out wrong dialogue of wrong Norma Desmond, what could be more wrong she’s the same age as me this tilted wreck with deliquescent chin, I turn it off, eat soup and read a novel. Thoughts trickle in and out. No one phones. I am safe but that won’t last.” ––Anne Carson

Every new book by Anne Carson is an unpredictable adventure for hearts & minds. A wild ride, as they say. Carson has a wonderfully precise yet lurching, forensic yet funny way with words and worlds. Her explorations into “the limits of human wisdom” suggest an insect collector’s notebook entries. They are often wry yet boundlessly curious and never overwrought. Her “strategic sentences” weave and swerve into and out of blocks of text, reappear and disappear like smells or hallucinations. Her language meditates and deconstructs, shuffles and collages unburied facts, familial fragments, and hidden thoughts into part screwball, part slapstick comedy routines and “glorious off-key tragic songs” that “squirt sideways, mute and mad.” The whole thing is enchantingly unruly and strangely affecting. “The pieces are not linked,” she writes. “That’s why I’ve called them ‘wrong.’” But we sense we are in good hands and take the plunge and read. Surprised and bewildered, we find that erudition can be fun.

2024, paperback; 9 x 7 inches; 192 pages; ISBN: 9780811230346.