Beowulf: A New Translation

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Scribe Publications, 2021 - Beowulf - 176 pages
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A GUARDIAN, NEW STATESMAN, SPECTATOR, AND IRISH TIMESBOOK OF THE YEAR

A new, feminist translation of Beowulfby the author of The Mere Wife

Nearly twenty years after Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf -- and fifty years after the translation that continues to torment high-school students around the world -- there is a radical new verse interpretation of the epic poem by Maria Dahvana Headley, which brings to light elements never before translated into English.

A man seeks to prove himself as a hero. A monster seeks silence in his territory. A warrior seeks to avenge her murdered son. A dragon ends it all. These familiar components of the epic poem are seen with a novelist's eye towards gender, genre, and history. Beowulfhas always been a tale of entitlement and encroachment -- of powerful men seeking to become more powerful and one woman seeking justice for her child -- but this version brings new context to an old story. While crafting her contemporary adaptation, Headley unearthed significant shifts lost over centuries of translation; her Beowulfis one for the twenty-first century.

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About the author (2021)

Maria Dahvana Headley is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and editor, most recently of the novels Magonia, Aerie, and Queen of Kings and the memoir The Year of Yes. With Kat Howard she is the co-author of The End of the Sentence, and with Neil Gaiman she is the coeditor of Unnatural Creatures. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, and her work has been supported by the MacDowell Colony and by Arte Studio Ginestrelle, where the first draft of this book was written. She was raised with a wolf and a pack of sled dogs in the high desert of rural Idaho and now lives in Brooklyn.

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