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Monday, May 5, 2008

Lavinia (Harcourt), by Ursula K. Le Guin

Book Review

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  Lavinia, a princess in Virgil’s The Aeneid, was merely a walk-on character in the historical epic. She is transformed into the reluctant protagonist of her own story in Ursula Le Guin’s novel. An acclaimed author of science fiction and fantasy, Le Guin turns to the past for an imaginative reconstruction of Italy in the days before the Romans. With insights into ancient literature and mythology, Le Guin invents Lavinia’s story in elegant, flowing prose. She evokes a world of violence and honor, close to the spirits of nature, to wraiths, omens and prophetic dreams.