|From The Publisher*||Aboard the Alecto, prolific romance author Valentine Beals ruminates on the ship's most seemingly incongruous couple: a graceful, ethereal, virginal dancer named Barberina Rookwood and her lover, Saul Henchman, a crippled, emasculated war hero and photographer. Fancifully, Beals imagines Henchman to be the reembodiment of one of the most mysterious Arthurian legends, the Fisher King-the maimed and impotent ruler of a barren country of whom Perceval failed to ask the right questions. A myth with many permutations-and a blurred borderland between them-the Fisher King legend dovetails the various explanations Powell offers from his competing narrators as to why a talented young dancer would forsake her art to care for a feeble older man.|
Ostensibly a novel about gossip on a cruise ship, The Fisher King is much more: a highly stylized narrative infused with Greek mythology, legend, and satire.
|Biographical Note||Anthony Powell (1905-2000) has received several literary prizes in Britain and the United States, among them the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the W. H. Smith Annual Literary Award, and the T. S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing. His twelve-volume masterpiece, A Dance to the Music of Time is available from the University of Chicago Press.|