The Green Child

Overview

First published in 1935, Herbert Read's only novel is a strange, powerful and original work: a sustained piece of political and philosophical fantasy. It tells the story of Dr Olivero, president of a small South American country, who fakes his own assassination and returns in disguise to the English village of his youth. Arriving late in the evening, he notices that the village stream appears to be running uphill. Intrigued, he follows the stream and comes across a lonely mill where he rescues the Green Child, a ...
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Overview

First published in 1935, Herbert Read's only novel is a strange, powerful and original work: a sustained piece of political and philosophical fantasy. It tells the story of Dr Olivero, president of a small South American country, who fakes his own assassination and returns in disguise to the English village of his youth. Arriving late in the evening, he notices that the village stream appears to be running uphill. Intrigued, he follows the stream and comes across a lonely mill where he rescues the Green Child, a speechless creature with semi-transparent flesh, from her sadistic husband. She leads Olivero to the millstream's source and plunges him into her strange, subterranean world.
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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
“If you want to imagine what it would be like to exist beyond desire, beyond loneliness, and even beyond identity, The Green Child is the book to read.”
The New Yorker
“The Green Child has narrative and stylistic lucidity as startling as some of its fantasy.”
Graham Greene
“The Green Child conveys a private sense of glory. The same type of glory that impelled Christian writers to picture the city of God.”
Lincoln Michel
“The Green Child is a mesmerizing novel that resists categorization and simplification.”
Robert Gorham Davis
“[B]eautifully imagined and beautifully written.”
The Times [London]
“[A] very charming philosophical tale.”
Bob Barker
“[R]emarkable for its cool yet vivid style.”
Geoffrey Wheatcroft
“The Green Child is the kind of book to write if you are going to leave just the one novel behind: singular, odd, completely original.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811221825
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/16/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 482,530
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Hebert Read was born in 1893, the son of a Yorkshire farmer, and educated at Leeds University until his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1914. He built his reputation as an outstanding critic of the arts, for which he was knighted, and as an anarchist poet. The Green Child is his only work of fiction. He died in 1968.
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