The New Moon With the Old Moon in Her Arms by Ursule Molinaro
A True Story Assembled from Scholarly Hearsay

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Each spring in Ancient Athens two scapegoats, a surrogate bride and groom, were ritually stoned to death on the 6th of Thargelion, the Day of Expulsion. The purpose was to rid the city of sickness, famine, and sinfulness; and the sacrificial victims were social castoffs given a year’s luxurious respite. But in the year 293 B. C., an attractive, unmarried poetess resolves to protest the rising patriarchy, as well as Athenian women’s declining status, by volunteering herself on the behalf of the moon goddess Circe. In this impassioned novel ("a true story assembled from scholarly hearsay"), the narrator’s diary of her final year is intercut with passages on Greek culture, from pharmacology to gemstones to fraudulent gods and heroes. All the while, her original idealism is being caught up in the reality of an unexpected love affair....

About Ursule Molinaro

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Ursule Molinaro authored more than a dozen novels, two dozen widely produced one-act plays, three volumes of non-fiction, and over one hundred short stories. Her novels and stories have been published also in England, France, and Japan. She was a self-trained artist (her paintings and collages appear on her McPherson titles), and avid acrosticist. Ursule Molinaro diedin New York City on July 12, 2000.
Published September 1, 1993 by Mcpherson & Co. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The narrator--a 30-year-old unmarried poet--is kept sumptuously at public expense for a year before the ritual (or ``Thargelia'') in which she and a man, a surrogate bride and groom, will be chased through the streets and stoned to death on Expulsion Day.

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Publishers Weekly

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Molinaro's ( Positions with White Roses ) clever feminist novella is actually more like an extended (perhaps even a little attenuated) anecdote, set in ancient Athens.

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