Top 10: myths retold or reimagined

Ten of the best novels inspired by Greek mythology.

Circe Invidiosa (1892) by John William Waterhouse
  1. The Red Word by Sarah Henstra. Rape culture on college campuses. A reworking of the story of Helen of Troy
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce / The Penelopiad by Margaret Attwood. Two retellings of Odysseus, the original hero and his journey.
  3. Stone Blind: Medusa’s Story by Natalie Haynes. From monster to hero. The Medusa myth revisited. 
  4. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson – a novel in verse and coming of age tale which brings the three-bodied monster, Geryon, into the modern age.
  5. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsi. This clash between society, family and religious faith brings Antigone up to date.
  6. The Portrait of a Mirror by A. Natasha Joukovsky. A modern novel of manners. The Narcissus myth reinvented in New York’s elite.
  7. Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera (transl. Lisa Dillman) / The Magus by John Fowles. Two retellings of the Orpheus and Euridice myth.
  8. Circe by Madeline Miller. Feminist reworking of the story of Circe, the Greek goddess of sorcery, skilled in transmutation, illusion, and necromancy.
  9. The Women of Troy by Pat Barker. Feminist retelling of The Iliad.
  10. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint. The bonds between women, and their shame, rejection and betrayal at the hands of men. Ariadne and Theseus retold.

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