Carson is a private person. She prefers to be alone. (When her husband is traveling, Carson will call and tell him, “I miss you, but I’m having a great time.”) Her book jackets have no author photo. Her back-flap biography — “Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living” — is so minimalist that it sounds like a parody of a back-flap biography. Carson told me that, years ago, she had a bad experience with the private-detective model of journalism and would prefer never to do it again. It took her publisher a couple of weeks to wear her down to the point that she would agree, even in a limited way, to participate in a profile. Carson later described those weeks as akin to water torture. In the end she agreed to exchange some e-mails. This felt like a significant victory.
The Inscrutable Brilliance of Anne Carson, via The New York Times Magazine.
(Photo: Jeff Brown for The New York Times)