A Year in Reading: Emma Donoghue

December 6, 2010 | 1 book mentioned


coverThis is the year I finally got around to reading Gilgamesh, the epic I always somehow assumed was about medieval India… but in fact is about Mesopotamia (today Iraq) circa 2750 BCE.  In Stephen Mitchell’s fresh and muscular version from Free Press, Gilgamesh stunned me.  It’s as gripping as a modern novel, with its troubled hero-king and his alter ego / beloved Enkidu.  But it’s also entirely unlike anything from the western Judeo-Christian tradition, especially at that startling moment when the wild man Enkidu turns up, and the king sends out, not a priest, but a courtesan to civilise him with her “love-arts.”

More from a Year in Reading 2010

Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

The good stuff: The Millions’ Notable articles

The motherlode: The Millions’ Books and Reviews

Like what you see? Learn about 5 insanely easy ways to Support The Millions

is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the bestselling Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Hood, and Stir-fry and most recently, the critically acclaimed bestseller Room. Her story collections are The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Kissing the Witch, and Touchy Subjects. She also writes literary history, and plays for stage and radio. She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner and their two small children. For more information, go to www.roomthebook.com.