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King of a Hundred Horsemen: Poems (National Poetry Series Books) Hardcover – October 28, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: National Poetry Series Books
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374181187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374181185
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,953,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Not previously available in English, Étienne’s work is well known in France, where she is a prominent contributor to literary life as both a poet and a novelist. Brought up in what was then French Indochina and is now Vietnam, she remains deeply connected to the Southeast Asian culture that nourished her, and as deeply affected, or afflicted, by memories of the wars she lived through as a soldier’s child. She defies easy geographical categorization, and in this book she writes in an ambiguous genre poised between poetry and prose that reads as much like a surreal novel as a book of prose poems. Vaguely defined characters appear and disappear. Pastiches of other writers’ work alternates with the pseudo-diary of an unknown narrator. Translator Hacker, who won the first Robert Fagles Translation Prize from the National Poetry Series for this book, calls it a mosaic of shattered mirrors. Hypnotic and elusive, Étienne’s words and images embed themselves in memory. --Patricia Monaghan


“A beautiful, pensive novel-in-verse, King of a Hundred Horsemen presents one of France’s most important contemporary writers at her most delicate and most complex. Étienne’s integration of autobiography and haunting atmosphere make this not only the portrait of a life, but also that of a world in transition. Translator Marilyn Hacker, herself one of America’s foremost poets, has rendered the whole beautifully, keeping all its nuances and sensuality alive.” —Cole Swensen
“Odd as it can be, and just that brilliant. I cannot possibly imagine anyone having dared to translate this singularly-angled poem of a startling prose except Marilyn Hacker, whose triumph equals that of the author. Two bravas, please!” —Mary Ann Caws, author of Surprised in Translation and editor of The Yale Anthology of 20th Century French Poetry

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