Cover art and interior decorations by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
120 pages. November 30, 2012.
Available in hardcover and paperback editions
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Read Excerpts Online:
"Luring the Starlit Muse," in Mezzo Cammin, Vol 6 No 2 (Winter 2011) (please scroll to bottom of page)
Chapter IV, "Gabriel the Weeper," in the "Journaling the Apocalypse" issue of qarrtsiluni, 2008
About the Artist
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Clive Hicks-Jenkins, born in 1951, is one of the foremost figurative painters in Wales. He is an Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth School of Art and has been a guest tutor at the Royal College of Art. Hicks-Jenkins was winner of the Gulbenkian Welsh Art Prize in 1999 and a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales in 2002. A member of The Welsh Group and 56 Group Wales, he was elected a Royal Cambrian Academician in 2008.
Copies of his books done in collaboration with The Old Stile Press are in significant public collections in the UK, the USA and Australia, and a major retrospective of his work was mounted by the National Library of Wales in 2011. In March 2012 his images for Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat were projected at a concert performance of the piece conducted by David Montgomery in Washington DC. His work has been critically praised by journals throughout the UK. Shelagh Hourahane, in Planet, has called him ‘an inspiring and masterly painter’, and Robert Macdonald described his Mari Lwyd sequence as ‘one of the most powerful series of paintings and drawings produced in Wales in recent times’.
His cover design and interior illustrations for Thaliad are his third collaboration with author Marly Youmans.
Thaliad by Marly Youmans
"Amazing, mesmerizing, filled with pithy wisdom, THALIAD is a work of genius which also seems particularly relevant to our own time." --Lee Smith
"Extraordinary, deeply moving and fiercely intelligent." -- Tomcat
"It's brutal and gorgeous, and like nothing else out there." -- Nathan Ballingrud
Thaliad is a post-apocalyptic tale, orchestrated in verse. Part novel, part fantasy, and always compelling, it tells the story of a group of children who make an arduous journey of escape and then settle in a deserted rural town on the shores of a beautiful lake. There, they must learn how to survive, using tools and knowledge they discover in the ruins of the town, but also how to live together. At the heart of the story is the young girl Thalia, who gradually grows to womanhood, and into the spiritual role for which she was destined.
Following in the great tradition of narrative poetry, Thaliad tells a gripping story populated with sharply-drawn, memorable characters whose struggles illuminate the complexity of human behavior from its most violent to most noble. At the same time, through its accessible language and style, the epic presents wholly contemporary questions about what is necessary not only for physical survival, but for the flourishing of the human spirit.
Thaliad is decorated throughout with original collages by the renowned Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marly Youmans is the author of three poetry collections, five novels, and several books of Southern fantasy for children. She is the winner of various national awards, including The Michael Shaara Award and The Ferrol Sams Award. Currently she is serving on the judging panel for the 2012 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.
A native of South Carolina, she grew up in Louisiana, North Carolina, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of Hollins College, Brown University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Youmans currently lives in the village of Cooperstown, New York with her husband and three children.
PRAISE FOR THALIAD
In THALIAD, Marly Youmans has written a powerful and beautiful saga of seven children who escape a fiery apocalypse----though "written" is hardly the word to use, as this extraordinary account seems rather "channeled" or dreamed or imparted in a vision, told in heroic poetry of the highest calibre. Amazing, mesmerizing, filled with pithy wisdom, THALIAD is a work of genius which also seems particularly relevant to our own time.
-Lee Smith, award-winning author of 16 books of fiction
Daringly, Marly Youmans’ Thaliad takes the blank verse epic into post-apocalyptic territory. In its reflections on group memory and foundational myth, this is a poem that relishes the ways in which the modern teller – whether the bard Emma or Youmans herself – fashions fragile new worlds in the act of rehearsing the old. Above all, perhaps, Thaliad is a plea against violence in all its forms; a call – articulated in different voices throughout – to protect not only the wellsprings of human love, but also those of the natural world, whose ‘simple golden wedding’ we may yet experience, as long as our memory is sufficiently long, and our desire for a different future strong enough.
-Damian Walford Davies, poet and co-director of the Centre for Romantic Studies,
Aberystwyth University, Wales
A remarkable and daring work of interstitial art: an epic poem of the new future that demands you read it on its own terms, and rewards you greatly for it. More to the point, it's believable: an artifact of a dystopian future that combines the best of epic poetry with modern fiction. By turns funny, insightful and deeply moving.
-Ellen Kushner, author of six fantasy novels, longtime host of Sound and Spirit (WGBH)
Marly Youmans has always had a flair for the mythological, but it is new to add the apocalyptic. Thaliad marries the end of the world to its new beginning, and does so by joining children’s literature with adult literature. The City of Ember, The Giver, The Road, The Tempest: Youmans merges genre with the symbolic truths about our lives, and comes up a long blank verse poem that speaks to suffering and hope, to cruelty and to resurrection.
-Kim Bridgford, poet, director of West Chester Poetry Conference, editor of Mezzo Cammin
...a wondrous text filled with richly layered and evocative poetry. Like a bardic tale, it demands to be read aloud. The images of nature are sensual, fertile, a source of healing. Violence is hammered into fierce staccato rhythms and Thalia’s ecstatic visions soar with heat and light as the human spirit is consoled by the divine. We are not spared the hardships of the journey, but through the storyteller’s voice we have confidence in our destination—it is this commitment to the angels of our better nature in Youmans' sublime poetry that gives Thaliad its power to inspire hope out of fear and love out of hate."
-Midori Snyder, from In the Labyrinth