alibi online
2016 Best of Burque RestaurantsFree Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 
 V.22 No.26 | June 27 - July 3, 2013 

Book Review

Down and Out in Macedonia

The Sweet Girl

Annabel Lyon
Alfred A. Knopf
hardcover
historical fiction
$24.95

In The Sweet Girl, Annabel Lyon gives an imaginative and intelligent reading of Greek society in the waning days of the reign of Alexander the Great from the perspective of Pythias, the young daughter of the philosopher Aristotle.

Pythias, known as Pytho, leads an unusual life for a girl of her time. As the beloved child of a mourned wife, her femaleness—with all of the real and imagined limitations thereof—is often overlooked by an indulgent Aristotle. She is encouraged to question and investigate the natural world, usually by means of dissection and taxidermy, and, unlike most girls, is taught to read. Her childhood in Athens, as the cosseted daughter of a celebrity, an esteemed man favored and loved by the king, is golden.

Upon Alexander’s death, however, life changes for Pytho and her family, who must flee Athens and begin a life of relative exile in Chalcis. Her father’s death soon after causes Pytho’s protected status to disappear. That's when she learns, quite explicitly and somewhat disturbingly, about the roles available to a woman not under a man’s protection in 4th century BC Greece. As Pytho navigates the dark underbelly of Chalcis and the boundaries of her own identity, the narrative swings disorientingly between the spheres occupied by priestess, wife, whore and slave.

While The Sweet Girl challenges and undoes any illusions one may harbor about the classical world, it also illuminates it and brings it to life, contrasting the comfortably cerebral with the unrelentingly carnal—positing them, as Aristotle surely would, as the contrast between the masculine and the feminine. Like other novels that adopt the voice of a female relative of a famous male in order to subvert or expand a traditional narrative, The Sweet Girl allows the reader to approach Aristotle’s world on different terms, and in doing so, renders it vital and accessible.

--

Suzanne Buck is an instructor of Spanish and French at CNM.

 

Today's Events

Freak Asylum at Sidewinders

Courtesy of Dahli Delia's Instagram

Jayy Von Monroe of Blood on the Dance Floor performs as his alter-ego Dahli Delia, featuring Candy Rose, Lola Turner, Billy D. Andrews and Ramiyah Devereaux.

Mouthpiece Performance Festival: Bright and Pitch at GRAFT

Art in the Afternoon: Tal Burdine at Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater

More Recommended Events ››
 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    Psychedelic Hammond Organ
    Psychedelic Hammond Organ9.1.2016