Neha Patil

An Arrow's Flight

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Language  English
Pages  376 pp
OCLC  38150357
Author  Mark Merlis
Publisher  St. Martin's Press
3.9/5 Goodreads

Publication date  August 1998
ISBN  978-0-312-18675-3
Originally published  August 1998
Genre  Novel
Country  United States of America
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Media type  Print (Hardback) & Paperback
Awards  Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction
Similar  Mark Merlis books, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction winners, Novels

An Arrow's Flight (ISBN 978-0-312-24288-6) is a novel by Mark Merlis, published in 1998.


Plot summary

Pyrrhus lives in the city with his housemate Leucon. He works as a waiter, then as a hustler. One day he hears his father Achilles has left him some inheritance in Troy, and he decides to claim it. On the ship, he sleeps with Corythus, a sailor. He soon learns he needs to seduce Philoctetes and get his bow for a prophecy to come true. He grows attached to the old man, though the latter also has an affair with Paris. Finally, Philoctetes breaks the bow. Pyrrhus meets Leucon again in a hospital where Pyrrhus is waiting to see his lover Philoctetes, who is very sick; the latter realizes he no longer has feelings for Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus understands that he has grown and accepted his sexuality and is able to live openly, something Leucon cannot do. (The novel hints that he probably never will.)

Main characters

  • Pyrrhus, the protagonist.
  • Leucon
  • Odysseus
  • Philoctetes
  • Corythus
  • Paris
  • Literary signifiance

  • 1999 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Fiction
  • It is a retelling of Sophocles's Philoctetes. It was inspired by Edmund Wilson's essay entitled 'The Wound and the Bow'. It was also inspired by Christopher Logue and Robinson Jeffers.
  • It has been read as a sequel to Andrew Holleran's Dancer from the Dance.
  • References

    An Arrow's Flight Wikipedia

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