Anabasis: A Journey to the Interior: A Novel

Ellen Gilchrist, Author University Press of Mississippi $23 (297p) ISBN 978-0-87805-726-9
National Book Award winner Gilchrist (Victory over Japan; Star Carbon) lifts her literary gaze from the exploits of the Hand family to produce this richly textured but overly idealized historical novel. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) between Athens and Sparta, Auria, a runaway slave girl, transforms herself into a warrior, healer, lyceum teacher, painter, ceramist, poet, songwriter and fiercely loving adoptive mother of an infant girl whom she rescues from a cave. Escaping her callous master, Auria teams up with a band of exiles and runaway slaves plotting rebellion in a mountain fortress, where she eventually marries Pericles's grandnephew Meion. Though representative of Gilchrist's assertive, independent heroines, Auria is neither fully realized nor wholly credible. A larger-than-life quality unsettles the story, even though Gilchrist ably evokes a Greece roiled by war, plagues and injustice as she touches, sometimes too heavily, on such themes as women's sexual and social subservience. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 297 pages - 978-0-87805-821-1
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