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By Christine Brooke-Rose

ISBN: 9781564780508

Publication Date: 7/1/1994

A woman about to lose her job as a professor of literature and history delivers a passionate, witty, and word-mad monologue.

History and literature seem to be losing ground to the brave new world of electronic media and technology, and battle lines are being drawn between the humanities and technology, the first world and the third world, women and men. Narrator Mira Enketei erases those boundaries in her punning monologue, blurring the texts of Herodotus with the callers to a talk-radio program, and blending contemporary history with ancient: fairy-tale and literal/invented people (the kidnappers of capitalism, a girl-warrior from Somalia, a pop singer, a political writer), connected by an elaborate mock-genealogy stretching back to the Greek gods, move in and out of each other's stories. The narrator sometimes sees herself as Cassandra, condemned by Apollo to prophesize but never to be believed, enslaved by Agamemnon after the fall of Troy. Brooke-Rose amalgamates ancient literature with modern crises to produce a powerful novel about the future of culture.


“This sort of metafiction can start like a rocket, then fizzle, but Christine Brooke-Rose’s novel keeps gaining momentum, blazes with wit and regains for fiction some of the territory lost to critics in recent raids. On all counts it deserves the three stars from Orion’s belt.” The Guardian

“About what it feels like to be a word-addict—worse, a writing addict—in the brave new world of communications technology.” The Observer

"Amalgamemnon is a brilliant example of its author's thesis, proving the eternal creative flexibility of language and the restorative vitality of one person's cultural memory.” American Book Review

Biographical Information

Christine Brooke-Rose (1923-2012) was an British writer and literary critic. Her experience working in Bletchley Park translating intercepted German communications during WWII influenced her radical literary experiments, including two autobiographies written without the word "I" and her novel Between, which omitted the verb "to be." Though she struggled for visibility and recognition during her lifetime, she now ranks among the 20th century's greatest experimental women writers.