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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Prodigal

The Prodigal

A Poem

Derek Walcott

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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The Prodigal is a journey through physical and mental landscapes, from Greenwich Village to the Alps, Pescara to Milan, Germany to Cartagena. But always in "the music of memory, water," abides St. Lucia, the author's birthplace, and the living sea. In his new work, Derek Walcott has created a sweeping yet intimate epic of an exhausted Europe studded with church spires and mountains, train stations and statuary, where the New World is an idea, a "wavering map," and where History subsumes the natural history of his "unimportantly beautiful" island home. Here, the wanderer fears that he has been tainted by his exile, that his life has become untranslatable, and that his craft itself is rooted in betrayal of the vivid archipelago to which, like Antaeus, he must return for the very sustenance of life.

Nobel Prize For Literature, Nobel Prize in Literature

Praise for The Prodigal

“Derek Walcott's virtues as a poet are extraordinary . . . He could turn his attention on anything at all and make it live with a reality beyond its own; through his fearless language it becomes not only its acquired life, but the real one, the one that lasts.” —James Dickey, The New York Times Book Review

“Like the best poetry, the combination of luminosity and precision is what allows it to be both old and new at the same time ... One couldn't ask for better. [The Prodigal] is an accessible book, and a noble one.” —The Economist

Reviews from Goodreads

Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was born in St. Lucia, the West Indies, in 1930. His Collected Poems: 1948-1984 was published in 1986, and his subsequent works include a book-length poem, Omeros (1990); a collection of verse, The Bounty (1997); and, in an edition illustrated with his own paintings, the long poem Tiepolo's Hound (2000). His numerous plays include The Haitian Trilogy (2001) and Walker and The Ghost Dance (2002). Walcott received the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

image of Derek Walcotto
© Danielle Devaux / danidevaux.com

Derek Walcott

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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