The Mere Wife
by Maria Dahvana Headley
For our first Cunning Folk book club in July, we’ll be reading Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife.
In this modern reworking of Beowulf, the Old English epic is transplanted to America, where we find ourselves told the story of a woman and her son living in the mountains above a gated community, and its most affluent residence, Herot Hall. In an abandoned train station, using concealment as a form of safety, Dana gives birth alone to a child with teeth. She names him Gren, and worries for his future: “His eyes are black gold. He’s all bones and angles. He’s almost as tall as I am and he’s only seven. To me, he looks like my son. To everyone else? I don’t know. A wonder? A danger? A boy with brown skin?”
Headley’s novel plays with the original text, with reflections and refractions following Dana and Gren, their Herot Hall counterparts Roger and Willa Herot and their son Dylan, and police officer Ben Woolf.
We’re very excited for you to join us for a discussion of this feminist retelling.
Join us at Brill Exmouth Market on Monday 29th July, 7pm. Tickets are on sale here.