Greek Myths: A New Retelling

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details
$27.00  $25.11
Pantheon Books
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.5 X 1.1 inches | 1.35 pounds

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About the Author
CHARLOTTE HIGGINS is chief culture writer for The Guardian, a past winner of the Classical Association Prize and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Her previous books include the acclaimed Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, which was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for Non-Fiction. She lives in London.

CHRIS OFILI is a British artist. He lives and works in Trinidad
"Higgins (Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths) delivers a luminous collection of Greek myths relayed by women and goddesses through the weaving of tapestries. Many of the fantastical stories of witches, slayers, and monsters feature violence against women and familial murder . . . Higgins's versions are consistently smart and imaginative. This makes for a provocative and alluring reanimation of the classics."
--Publishers Weekly

"Charlotte Higgins, chief cultural critic for The Guardian, [grew up reading] the standard issue classics of the past however many centuries, which leaned heavily not on the role of women in the telling of those tales. Greek Myths: A New Retelling is Higgins's splendid re-balancing act. Reimagining antiquity's legends by centering them on women as both chroniclers and chronicled, she places her distaff halves where they literally had the most to say: at their looms. The weaving of textiles not only depicted the stories but furnished the text-textiles metaphor for storytelling itself, handing her a compelling case.

"Higgins writes with verve and pop, pulling no punches when it comes to gore and violence, incest and intrigue, rapaciousness and rape. Passions are peculiar in the extreme. The material, deeply rich, doesn't start with Penelope, it saves her for a last sensational wallop that shows how skillfully Higgins has populated her pages with villainesses, heroines and the women in between.

"Once upon a time in the school systems of Manchester and Lagos, the boy who would grow up to become the artist Chris Ofili also came in contact with the Greek myths. The drawings he has made for Higgins's book--emphatically not illustrations--are delicate yet powerful. Inside the book, they look diaphanous enough to have been traced in stardust or the gossamer of Arachne's future kin. On the cover, lines as white as Iphigeneia's sacrificial clothing dance against a cerulean blue background. It's a worthwhile partnership of author and artist."
--National Book Review