Greek Myths

Charlotte Higgins.. Pantheon, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-31626-9
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. Athena depicts the origin of the world, her birth, creation of men by Zeus, and four scenes of war between gods. Alcithoe weaves a tale of Thebes with Europa, kidnapped and raped by Zeus; King Oedipus, who murdered his father and married his mother; and the murder of Pentheus, king of Thebes. Philomela's section includes the egotist Narcissus and Pygmalion, who loved a statue; and an account of her death at the hands of Tereus. Andromache tells of the relationship between the goddess Aphrodite and Adonis, a mortal. Helen, who blinded men with her beauty, depicts her love affair with Paris and the legendary fall of Troy to the Greeks. Circe, a witch and a recluse, punishes intruders. Penelope's handiwork is woven and unraveled daily as she awaits the return of Odysseus. While unseasoned mythology readers will have a tough time keeping a handle on the myriad deities, mortals, and creatures, Higgins's versions are consistently smart and imaginative. This makes for a provocative and alluring reanimation of the classics. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/13/2021
Release date: 11/09/2021
Genre: Fiction
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