After the enormous critical success of Mark Merlis’s first novel American Studies, comes a second novel of startling originality and maturity.
Pyrrhus firmly establishes Mark Merlis as one of the foremost writers of today. Already favourably compared as a writer to Alan Hollinghurst, Merlis’s new novel will win him further plaudits. Pyrrhus is a totally original novel: set in ancient Greece the world is simultaneously that of the New York bathhouses of the 1980s. Pyrrhus, son of the great (straight) warrior Achilles, is deputed to seduce the dying Philoctetes away from the island where he has been exiled. Odysseus, captain of the fleet, has been told by the oracle that only if Pyrrhus is reclaimed, will victory be theirs. Pyrrhus is an AIDS novel which never mentions AIDS; a serious novel about the price of free-will, it is also a sexy good read.