At a disastrous house party Dana appears searching for her son who has run down to play with Dylan. The following is from Maria Dahvana Headley's novel, The Mere Wife.In a modern retelling of Beowulf set in suburban America, two mothers—one a housewife, the other a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love. Excerpted from The Mere Wife, copyright © 2018 by Maria Dahvana Headley. From the catalog copy: From the perspective of those who live in Herot Hall, the suburb is a paradise. We wait, and one day our waiting is over. There is both intimacy and power behind this delicate balance of light and darkness. The Mere Golf Resort & Spa remains open for essential business meetings, key workers and elite sportspeople. Fantasy and realism mix in an ambiguous, audacious genre-bender. And yet it’s perfect, elegant even, in its way—but mostly it’s beautiful and rich and weird and modern and mythic and utterly magnetic and irresistible, just like the book Maria wrote. But it’s also full of poetry, because, um, it’s based on Beowulf! eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Country Wife so you can excel on your essay or test. The Mere Wife is a book by Maria Dahvana Headley that is a retelling of Beowulf set in 21st-century America. She eases herself down to the tiles. It demands attention and rewards it with the kind of reading that is difficult to put down—intense, visceral, and unforgettable. Earth’s a thieved place. Thematically, it’s heavy. The nature of the book is that all these things are tangled together, despite the notion of separation between them. This illustration suggests an alternative perspective, in that everyone has a delicate balance of good and bad inside them, and the two sides aren’t polarized either. The human brain relishes in categorizing people into two different groups: there are only good people or bad people. Everything living needs somewhere to be. Long after the end of everything is supposed to have occurred, long after apocalypses have been calculated by cults and calendared by computers, long after the world has ceased believing in miracles, there’s a baby born inside a mountain. The mere wife by Maria Dahvana Headley, 2018 edition, in English - First edition. New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love in The Mere Wife. The premise of the play is that wives are permitted to be strong, spirited and merry. THE MERE WIFE By Maria Dahvana Headley 308 pp. “The Mere Wife is a book on par with Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan: electric, feminist, literary retellings of famous tales, but with dystopian spins. Roger shoots a bear, thinking it is what took Dylan, but Dana believes that he has shot Gren, and so she murders Roger in retaliation. Mere Wife (2008) Plot. The nature of the illustration speaks to that as well, in my opinion—there’s something of the classical hero’s spoils in what we’re looking at on this cover. Gren argues that Dylan was good and finally leaves, going to look for him. And as with all great covers, the designers distilled into it an utterly unexpected but instantly undeniable package. . And it’s wildness versus domestication, blood versus fleece, but not really even versus—it’s more a virtual representation of the way that these things are always inextricably braided together. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend break or an overnight stay, The Mere offers a range of rooms with amenities to ensure a cosy night’s sleep. We rose up from an inland sea, and now, half beneath the mountain, half outside it, is the last of that sea, a mere. There’s a blurry streak of light, coming from the old skylight, a portal to the world outside. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. The gated community still has its back open to the mountain. Headley makes many references to modern police violence (especially against African Americans), social media usage, class differences, and feminine stereotypes. There was once a tremendous skeleton here, rib cage curving the wall, tail twisting across the floor. She is interrogated and ends up in a mental hospital from which she escapes. 'The Mere Wife' Is An Epic Retelling July 22, 2018 • For too long the Old English poem has long been perceived as a "masculine text," says Maria Dahvana Headley. Some sects say that divorce is permissible, while others do not; however, all sects see divorce as something unnatural—a kind of “surgical operation.” Take a look. They can lead full and vivid lives and can simultaneously be virtuous and faithful to their husbands. No train’s been through our territory in almost a hundred years. . Fish swim in the rail river and creatures move up and down over the mosaics and destination signs. $27. When Gren, unaware of the borders erected to keep him at bay, ventures into Herot Hall and runs off with Dylan, Dana’s and Willa’s worlds collide. The station was a showpiece before it wasn’t. Dylan runs away with Gren as Roger follows them toward the mountain. There’s a howl and then a whistle, and then a roar. So, this cover, to my eye? The ram and wolf symbolize the classic struggle of predator versus prey, but instead of both sides directly opposing each other, they are woven and entwined together, until it’s difficult to see where the two sides meet in the middle. The art was re-colored for this cover, into more of a blaze of neon Day-Glo, to let us know this isn’t old blood we’re talking about, but fresh. Each house has its own fireplace, each fireplace is fitted with a container of lighter fluid, and outside—in lawns and on playgrounds—wildflowers seed themselves in neat rows. Headley makes many references to modern police violence (especially against African Americans), social media usage, class differences, and feminine stereotypes. In our soil there are tree fossils, the remains of a forest, dating from the greening of the world. However, while The Mere Wife may occasionally veer into the realm of the grotesque, it does so no more than sacrosanct myths. . She acts as the perfect housewife (hiding alcoholism, a likely eating disorder, an unhappy marriage, and copious quantities of stress) and quickly notices something is amiss when Dylan begins to talk about his "imaginary" friend Gren. “The Mere Wife is a book on par with Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan: electric, feminist, literary retellings of famous tales, but with dystopian spins. The Mere Wife publishes July 18th with Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Inciting Incident The Rising Action in the story is when the wife starts to realize that in the night when everyone is And the gloriously furred and fanged text for both my name and the title, is just… well, I think, having seen it, I’ve always wanted my name to have claws. In Headley’s hands, Beowulf is revealed to … He finds Dylan, and Dana's severed arm, but he claims he killed Dana and Gren. Start studying The World's Wife Poem Themes. There are drinking fountains tapping the spring that feeds the mountain, and there’s a wishing pool covered in dust. MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Golden fleeces and monstrous canines. And into all of this comes Ben Woolf, a police officer who believes he’s the hero Herot needs. Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife has finally been loosed upon the world. The novel is definitely violent, because it’s based on Beowulf! He is acclaimed as a hero and Willa marries Ben. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), © 2021 Macmillan | All stories, art, and posts are the copyright of their respective authors. I mean, this is a book full of choral speaking. Discussion of themes and motifs in William Wycherley's The Country Wife. No one needs to see us for us to exist. A panel in the ceiling moves out of position, and a woman drops through the gap at the end of an arch, falling a couple of feet to the floor, panting. But for those who live surreptitiously along Herot Hall’s periphery, the subdivision is a fortress guarded by an intense network of gates, surveillance cameras, and motion-activated lights. They meet and kiss but are found by Ben and, running back to his childhood home, Dylan is brutally stabbed and murdered by Willa. Listen. For Willa, the wife of Roger Herot (heir of Herot Hall), life moves at a charmingly slow pace. It’d get a nice graphic R rating if it were made into a movie. Rising Action Resolution The resolution is when the wife see's the white bloody man who was once her husband. On her back, there are two guns and a pack of provisions. The Mere Wife reimagines Beowulf by setting it in a suburban landscape of intense economic disparity . Hwaet! . "The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley review – a modern Beowulf", "World Fantasy Awards℠ 2019 | World Fantasy Convention", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Mere_Wife&oldid=999298747, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 13:40. I wasn’t familiar with the art of Miranda Meeks before this cover, but now that I am, I can easily say that she could illustrate anything I’ve written. the mere wife by Maria Dahvana Headley ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2018 Headley, a writer of juvenile fiction ( Aerie , 2016, etc.) No one needs to love us for us to exist. The Mere Wife. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The bones were pried out and taken to a museum, reassembled into a hanging body. Then they run back to the hills into the woods. Dana kills Ben, committing suicide in the process. It conveys that life isn’t black and white; it’s messy, and broken, and the gray area is a lot more encompassing than people initially assume. The sections are told from different perspectives: Dana narrates in first person, Willa and Ben in third, and the ancestors living in the mountain, mothers of Herot, and dogs in first person plural. Is an act of accurate translation, ram and wolf, transforming, entwining, finally being shown as two sides of the same entity. -- Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble It’s furious without being terrifically graphic, which I appreciate. New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love in The Mere Wife. There’s a murder of matriarchs (can I just use that as the collective noun for this version?—I don’t usually feel that way about matriarchs, but these are pretty murderous) who have collective POV, and function as the soldiers of suburbia. She calls, to any god, to all of them. Who would put a crazy neon ram’s-head-wolf-thing on the cover of a book—and then, naturally, have the type sprout fangs and fur too!—and think it would look anything but bonkers? 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