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  • Published: 14 December 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787333697
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $35.00

Greek Myths

A New Retelling, with drawings by Chris Ofili




A major new retelling of the Greek myths for a new generation, with original drawings by world-renowned artist Chris Ofili.

Charlotte Higgins' spellbinding new collection will include all the most famous Greek myths, as well as many less well known but equally intriguing ones. Here are stories of the creation, of Heracles and Theseus and Perseus, the Trojan war and its origins and aftermaths, tales of Thebes and Argos and Athens. There are stories of love and desire, adventure and magic, destructive gods, helpless humans, gender-shifting characters, resourceful witches, and the origins of birds and animals.

Taking her cue from Ovid, Charlotte Higgins has an intriguing structural device to thread her stories together. Inspired by the many moments in Greek myths in which women are seen to weave stories on to textiles (such as Helen of Troy in Homer, and Arachne and Minerva in Ovid), the tales will be told as if they are scenes in the act of being woven on to textiles by women. And, while not operating as an explicitly feminist retelling, this will add a new dimension to her myths, bringing women narrators and characters into the foreground.

Above all, Charlotte Higgins' Greek Myths will be an original work of literature and scholarship by an exceptionally talented writer. It will be book to be enjoyed as a work of art, a source to be consulted, a present to be given, and an object to keep and treasure.

  • Published: 14 December 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787333697
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Charlotte Higgins

Charlotte Higgins's previous books include the acclaimed Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, which was shortlisted for awards including the Samuel Johnson (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for non-fiction. She is chief culture writer of the Guardian, a past winner of the Classical Association prize, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She lives in London.

Also by Charlotte Higgins

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Praise for Greek Myths

Charlotte Higgins captures the raw, magical originality of the Greek myths in this beguiling book, charmingly illustrated by Chris Ofili... She knows her classics - and her myths - inside out.

Harry Mount, Catholic Herald

We are in the hands of a fine, fluent storyteller... Higgins, like the bards who first unspooled these tales, creates the illusion of spontaneity and handles suspense brilliantly... Chris Ofili's drawings complement the lyricism of the prose descriptions. Higgins depicts art mediating life - the reason, I think, that we read books... I loved this book.

Sara Wheeler, Spectator

[A] scholarly, capacious reimagining... Higgins makes you feel for these tormented, accursed mortals afresh.

Claire Allfree, The Times

A gritty and exhilarating new version of the ancient stories in which the female characters take centre stage.

Katy Guest, Guardian

Higgins invests the tales with surprising new meanings... The command of Higgins herself, as the master weaver of myths, emerges forcefully....Ancient myths here acquire compelling modern form.

Booklist, Starred Review

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