Posted on August 27, 2020 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Maria Dahvana Headley has returned to the world of Old English literature and, once again, put a modern spin on it.

Her 2018 novel The Mere Wife retold the epic poem Beowulf from the perspective of Grendel’s mother and moved it into the twenty-first century.

And she’s now back to the Anglo-Saxon era with her latest book, Beowulf — a modern translation that opens, literally, with “bro.”

“There are other translations if you're looking for the courtly romance and knights,” she writes in the introduction, as a warning or explanation.

And Jason Sheehan, reviewing it for NPR, could not be any happier about that opening word and the rest of the work.

He argues, in essence, that writing it in the linguistic style of happy-hour celebrants is to present it in its truest, most accurate form.

Unconvinced? Read Sheehan’s entire excited review of the latest Beowulf on NPR.

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Categories: Today in Books

Well, I suppose if you want your Beowulf to be a "bro," this is the version for you. The problem remains that this is an Anglo-Saxon poem, not one written by a slangy media=savvy 20 or 30 something American. Give me Seamus Heaney any day!
John Butler | 8/28/20 at 12:09 PM
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