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Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block

Psyche in a Dress (2006)

by Francesca Lia Block

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Lovely modern-day variation on the PSYCHE/EROS story. Poetic and haunting. ( )
  maryhollis | Feb 20, 2017 |
I read Block's [b:Weetzie Bat|44353|Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat, #1)|Francesca Lia Block|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1392416825s/44353.jpg|946181] a few years ago, and I think that helped prepare me for reading this book. Block has an interesting way with language that is beautiful to read, but can also lead to some minor confusion and rereading. It's not a fault in the writing though. It helps it stand out and allows for the story to do interesting things.

Block takes well known myths and weaves them together into a set of modern day characters. It's often hard to tell where the myth and the "real world" aspects of the story are because of the blending and language used. But there's a beauty to how this story is told. I feel that I'll need to go back and read it again some time down the road to full appreciate it, though. I wasn't until about halfway through that I was able to find the flow through the verse, especially with it's lack of punctuation.

I'd be very interested in reading some other poetry (non verse novel works), after reading this. I'll have to go see if there's any out there.

If you're looking for something different, something that might not "click" right away but will make you think and pay attention, this might be a book to check out. ( )
  Robert.Zimmermann | Oct 15, 2015 |
An exploration of love and self-discovery using modernized myths set in Los Angeles, CA.

Not being a huge fan of most poetry, an entire novella in free verse kinda made me nervous, but I loved Psyche in a Dress! The pages practically turned themselves, and when I reached the end I wanted to flip back to the beginning and read it all over again. Psyche's story was based on mythology, yet somehow portrayed the very real experiences of first love, heartbreak, finding oneself, and the life-changing power of the parent-child relationship. The ending was...beautiful.

Recommended to mature young adult readers, because there was heavy subject matter, current fans of Block's work, and anyone else looking for a unique retelling of modern myths, including Psyche and Eros, Narcissus and Echo, and Persephone, Demeter and Hades.

4.5 stars ( )
  flying_monkeys | Nov 29, 2014 |
I'm not entirely sure what I thought of this. I think this is the first time I've tried anything by Francesca Lia Block, and it just sort of caught my eye. It's quite powerful, powerful images and an interesting way of retelling several different mythical stories.

It's made up of poetry, mostly, and some prose. It's a very fast read if it sounds interesting to you -- but I'm still not sure what I think, having stared at the screen for a while trying to put together a more incisive review. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
In true FLB form, PSYCHE IN A DRESS packs a raw, sexual, emotional punch via vivid, lush prose, set against the backdrop of Hollywood.

Enter Psyche, in the form of a teenage girl. She stars in her father's brutal films, being mutilated and dying, over and over again. She fancies herself her father's muse, taking over where her mother lapsed after she left the family. In the middle of the night, Psyche is visited by a man called Love, who sounds like the ocean and tastes like citrus, makes love to her, and tells her stories of the old Gods. He comes to her ever night, under one condition: she must not turn on a light. But under the advisement of her half-sisters, Psyche lights a candle, and find a beautiful god of a man in her bed. Is beauty monstrous? Psyche banishes her lover because of some serious self-esteem issues.

We follow her through the rest of her life as she tries to win him back. Through the course of her journey we meet Persephone, Orpheus, Narcissus, Eurydice, Aphrodite, Hades, and Demeter. Psyche outs herself through physically and emotionally grueling relationships, sometimes to the point of abuse (Hades, in the form of Marilyn Manson.) All of this in the name of Love (Eros.)

The story is written in delicious free verse -- which I believe is Francesca Lia Block's strength. Through sparse words, vivid, luscious, colorful imagery comes to life. The salt spray of the ocean on your lips, the heady scent of the fields of poppies, the crunching of gravel under hooves, your moth wings shredded to dust. It's beautiful.

The ending -- full of self-love, healing, and joy -- is perfect and uplifting. We watch Psyche become Persephone, Eurydice, Demeter. It's a perfect full-circle ending.

PSYCHE IN A DRESS, and 113 pages is a quick, engaging read, and like most FLB books, written beautifully and colorfully. It contains mature themes (it is FLB, though) but nothing to vivid. Definitely a recommended read. ( )
  PrettyDeadly | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Francesca Lia Blockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Spalenka, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Joanna
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I am not a goddess
I am my father's
When your mothers tell you to love and appreciate your body it isn't just to get you to shut up. They know that when you are old you are going to feel exactly the same way inside that you do now. We try on different dresses, different selves, but our souls are always the same--ongoing, full of light.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060763728, Hardcover)

But this is what
I could not give up:
I could not give up myself

Psyche has known Love—scented with jasmine and tasting of fresh oranges. Yet he is fleeting and fragile, lost to her too quickly. Punished by self-doubt, Psyche yearns to be transformed, like the beautiful and brutal figures in the myths her lover once spoke of. Attempting to uncover beauty in the darkness, she is challenged, tested, and changed by the gods and demons who tempt her. Her faith must be found again, for if she is to love, she must never look back.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A young woman, Psyche, searches for her lost love and questions her true self in a modern retelling of Greek myths.

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