Sunday, September 03, 2023

Eleven top books about misunderstood women in history & mythology

Megan Barnard writes upmarket historical fiction. She has worked as a literary agent, editor, and copywriter, but writing fiction is where her heart truly lies. When she’s not writing she drinks coffee and travels widely. Her favorite places to read across the globe are Île Saint-Louis in Paris, Pacific Grove, CA, and Portmagee, Ireland.

Barnard's latest novel is Jezebel.

At Electric Lit the author tagged eleven brilliant books about "misunderstood women in our most famous histories and mythologies." One title on the list:
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

In this retelling of the ancient Greek story of the Trojan War, Natalie Haynes gives voices and new characterizations to the many women who were involved in the Trojan War, beginning with the muse Calliope, who is more than a little annoyed at being constantly begged for a story by Homer and decides to tell him the truth of the bloody war. We also learn about the despair of Clytemnestra after the murder of her daughter, and how she strategically plans to kill the man responsible (her husband). This story gives depth to so many voiceless women, including Penelope, whose increasingly bitter and sarcastic letters to Odysseus give the book a startling humor. This is a tender, rage-filled book that gives a voice to the misunderstood women at the heart of the Trojan War.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Thousand Ships is among the B&N Reads editors' twenty-four best mythological retellings, Susan Stokes-Chapman's top ten novels inspired by Greek myths, Jennifer Saint's ten essential books inspired by Greek myth, Deanna Raybourn's six top novels based on historical scandals, and Alyssa Vaughn's forty-two books to help you get through the rest of quarantine.

The Page 69 Test: A Thousand Ships.

--Marshal Zeringue