Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
King of a Hundred Horsemen

King of a Hundred Horsemen


Marie Étienne; Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

Marie Étienne's poetry is inspired by the synthesis of the contemporary and the classical, the tragic and the mundane—the quotidian transformed by the tragic prisms of myth and history. Through a profound and complex reinterpretation of the sonnet form, the book reflects, as in a mosaic of shattered mirrors, many of the writer's ongoing preoccupations: the relationship of East and West; an eroticism at once physical and cerebral; the interaction of poetry and prose; the strange blending of the everyday and the foreign, in which the most "exotic" journeys become ordinary and the most ordinary displacements partake of the strange. King of a Hundred Horsemen—in a brilliant translation by Marilyn Hacker that Robert Hass selected for the National Poetry Series's first Robert Fagles Translation Prize in 2007—is an elegant, deeply affecting work from a master poet.


Praise for King of a Hundred Horsemen

King of a Hundred Horsemen . . . cultivates a hybrid lyricism, rooted in autobiography yet oblique and fragmentary, synthesizing lived experience and literary allusion, truncated narrative and gnomic utterance, shifting between voices and genders. Hacker's rendering keeps pace with Étienne's metamorphic French, finding analogous registers and styles. But she also exploits the heterogeneous resources of English to release a stream of surprising effects, each verbal choice becoming an interpretive move that captures and enriches its French counterpart.” —citation for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

“In King of a Hundred Horsemen, the images of the past, imagined and real, return to haunt the present, shaping identity like the nudge of a guilty conscience.” —Clinton Krute, The Brooklyn Rail

“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 Twentieth-Century French Poetry

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Marie Étienne; Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker

Marie Étienne is a poet and novelist who lives in Paris, where she is a frequent contributor to literary and book review journals.

Marilyn Hacker is the author of eleven books of poems and seven books of translations from the French.

Marie Etienne

Marilyn Hacker

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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