Monday, May 14, 2018

What is Madeline Miller reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Madeline Miller, author of Circe.

Her entry begins:
The Verdun Affair, by Nick Dybek. I was surprised to be sent an advanced copy of this novel, since I usually receive ancient war books, not modern ones. But I did what I always do: read the first page to see if it grabbed me. And it did! The novel is set after the first World War, and focuses on a former ambulance driver who is collecting the bones of the dead in the French countryside. It is a haunting set up, which Dybek draws out beautifully, giving us a narrator who can evoke both the mundane and devastating aspects of the task. It is a book about big things: memory and war, about the effect of unfathomable violence on our human psyches, about love, and the struggle to move forward after trauma. But what really drew me in was the characters. So often books that have such sweeping scope aren’t grounded in specific men and women struggling with hopes and griefs, but Dybek manages to...[read on]
About Circe, from the publisher:
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.
Learn more about the book and author at Madeline Miller's website.

See Madeline Miller's top ten classical books.

My Book, The Movie: The Song of Achilles.

Writers Read: Madeline Miller.

--Marshal Zeringue