Gilgamesh – Man’s First Story

Bernarda Bryson

Softbound - elegantly illustrated

$19.95

This is a powerful – and powerfully beautiful – retelling of one of the oldest stories known to humanity. Bernarda Bryson tells this story with simplicity and grace – retaining as she does the uniquely Sumerian view of the world, some of the poetic responses, and above all, the heart and soul of this story that combines in equal measure the elements of both transcendent victory and deep tragedy. This retelling was written for children, but I can’t think of any adult who wouldn’t enjoy it as well. Ms. Bryson is rightly remembered as an author whose sensitivity was matched by her literary skill – and who used the fullness of her capacities in the making of this book.

The story of Gilgamesh was first written down about 3000 BC in Sumeria. It tells of a great flood and of one man, befriended by the gods, who survived by building an ark. In the feats of Gilgamesh and his companion, Enkidu, a monster who turns into a gentle man who loves and respects the King, are found the sources of great mythological heroes: Hercules, Jason and Theseus.

In addition to its vital importance in the history of literature, Gilgamesh is an exciting and often amusing tale – setting jealous god against jealous god, god against man, and man against man in remarkable battles of wit and strength.

A must for fifth graders – wonderful for the rest of us!

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