The Beauty of the Husband
By Anne Carson
Carson is an extraordinary poet. She's eloquent and brutal and funny—not at all sentimental. In this book, which is arranged in 29 chapters (what Carson calls tangos), she captures domestic scenes of jealousy and fear and passion. She takes you through the unfolding of one couple's relationship—essentially, it's a story of a crumbling marriage, and I devoured it. The husband is chronically unfaithful. At one point, the wife speaks of how she had "seeing scars on her eyes from trying to look hard enough at every stone of every sidewalk in the city…or office block or telephone booth to wring from it a glimpse of the husband with someone else.…" I thought that was beautiful—"seeing scars" on her eyes.