Author Madeline Miller Picks Her Favourite Greek Myths

Hello Avid Readers,

I haven’t re-blogged one of these interview for ages and I thought it was high time I shared another one with you. I do enjoy stories based around the ancient myths, especially those who set their re-working in our modern times.

Reading this interview has definitely piqued my interest and put Madeline Miller on my radar. Have you read either of Madeline’s books or any of the five books that she mentions? As always, I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, enjoy this interview.

 

Originally posted by Goodreads on 26th March 2018

When author Madeline Miller was a child, her mother read her Homer‘s The Iliad and The Odyssey as bedtime stories, sparking a lifelong fascination with Greek mythology’s gods and monsters. In school, Miller studied Greek and Latin, earning her B.A. and M.A. in Classics, and in 2012 she published her first novel, the Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles.

Despite her love of the classics, she says she was bothered that the female characters in the tales seemed sidelined to the role of either the murderous villain or tragic pawn. So in her second novel, Circe, Miller set out to create a new and nuanced voice for Homer’s powerful goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. As an expert and fan of Greek mythology, Miller recommends five more novels rooted in these ancient stories.

“From Percy Jackson to The Penelopiad, from House of Names to Harry Potter, Greek myths keep popping up everywhere. But this is nothing new: These powerful and passionate stories have been captivating readers for going on three millennia now. Here are five books rooted in Greek myths that knocked my socks off.”

“Inspired by one of Hercules’ labors, in which the hero must defeat a hideous monster, this novel by poet and classicist Anne Carson imagines the tale more intimately. Geryon, a little red boy with wings, falls in love with a rebel named Heracles. Beautiful and haunting.”

 

“Wilson, a classicist at University of Pennsylvania, has created a brilliant and accessible new translation that captures the excitement and potency of the original. Perfect both for those who are new to The Odyssey as well as those who want to see an old favorite shine again.”

 

“A retelling of the Antigone story, set in modern England and focused on a family of Muslim immigrants. Sophocles’ tragic tale of the clash between what we owe to the state and what we owe to those we love finds a powerful new expression here.”

 

“Shakespeare’s version of The Iliad is one of the most bitter and bitterly funny plays you’ll ever have occasion to read. Despite its acid condemnation of pretty much everyone for their obsession with “wars and lechery” (still relevant today), it has a number of surprisingly moving moments, including a genuinely tender scene between Achilles and Patroclus.”

 

“Wait a minute, I hear you cry, that’s about bunnies, not ancient myth! Au contraire. This story of a ragged band of refugees fleeing the destruction of their home, forced to make a perilous journey to a new homeland where they must fight a terrible war, is deeply rooted in both The Aeneid and The Odyssey. There’s even a Cassandra character and quotes from ancient tragedies. Also, it includes one of the most heroic single-combat scenes I’ve ever read, rabbits and all.”

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