After talking to a friend yesterday about our mutual love of TSOA and how she wished there were more classics-y fiction type books, I’m here to relay the good news that there are!
So here’s a list of books that retell classical stories from different (and potentially feminist!!) perspectives.
1. Circe- Madeline Miller
- the life of Circe, the witch from the Osyssey and the Aeneid, told in her own words
2. The silence of the girls- Pat Barker
- a retelling of the Iliad from the perspective of Briseis, a priestess of Apollo.
3. Lavinia- Ursula K. Le Guin
- a retelling of the Aeneid through the eyes of Lavinia, the daughter of the kind of Latium
4. The children of Jocasta- Natalie Haynes
- a retelling of the Oedipus and Antigone myth with a focus on Jocasta and Ismene
5. Autobiography of Red- Anne Carson
- slightly different to the rest, more of a reimagination than an interpretation of the relationship between Hercules and Geryon in poetry.
6. For the winner- Emily Hauser
- a retelling of the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, with an added appearance from our girl Atlanta.
7. A thousand ships - Natalie Haynes
- a retelling of the Trojan war from a female perspective. Also gives one of the most underappreciated women of the Aeneid, Creusa, a voice!
8. For the immortal- Emily Hauser
- a retelling of Hercules’ 9th labour in which he’s accompanied by Admete, daughter of the king of Tiryns
9. Galatea- Madeline Miller
- a short story retelling the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea
10. For the most beautiful- Emily Hauser
- similar to ‘The silence of the girls’ this book retells the Trojan war through the stories of Krisayis and Briseis
11. The Penelopiad- Margaret Atwood
- a retelling of the Odyssey focusing on the story of Penelope, Odysseus’ wife
12. The horror of the Helmet- Victor Pelevin
- a radical reinvention of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur presented through modern internet exchanges.
13. Girl meets boy- Ali Smith
- a modern reinvention of the story of Iphis, taken from Ovid’s metamorphoses.
14. Weight- Jeannette Winterson
- a modern retelling of the myth of Atlas and Hercules. An examination of choice and coercion.
15. Where three roads meet- Sally Vickers
- Set partly in pre-war London and partly in Ancient Greece feauturing Sigmund Freud as Oedipus and a stranger as Tiresias. A complete reimagination of the Greek myth of Oedipus and Freud’s Oedipus complex.
16. The fire gospel- Michel Faber
- more of an analogy for the myth of Prometheus than a retelling but still excellent.
17. The memoirs of Helen of Troy- Amanda Elyot
- our girl Helen finally given a voice in this exploration of the events leading up to the Trojan war
18. XO Orpheus: fifty new myths- Kate Bernheimer
- a collection of short retellings of myths, very similar to Galatea by Madeline Miller (which is feautured in the book)
19. Home fire- Kamila Shamsie
- a modern retelling of the story of Antigone that centres around an immigrant family. A modern Greek Tragedy.
20. For her dark skin- Percival Everett
- super funny retelling of the myth of Jason and Medea. Out of print so copies are insanely expensive but you can get it on kindle for £6 :)
21. House of names- Colm Tóibín
- an exploration of the story of the house of Atreus from the sacrifice of Iphigenia to the murder of Clytemnestra
22. The autobiography of Cassandra, princess and prophetess of Troy- Ursule Molinaro
- retelling of the story of Troy through the eyes of Cassandra
I’ll be adding to this list the more I find but feel free to add your own x