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About Natalie Haynes
Natalie Haynes is a writer, broadcaster, and classicist. She was once a stand-up comic, but retired when she realised she preferred tragedy to comedy. She has published three novels, The Amber Fury (The Furies - US) in 2014, The Children of Jocasta (2017) and A Thousand Ships (2019), which was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020. She has also published two non-fiction book, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life (2010) and Pandora's Jar (2020). She also has a radio series, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, which is available on BBC Sounds and Audible.
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Books By Natalie Haynes
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020
One of the Guardian's and TLS's 'Best Books of 2019'
In A Thousand Ships, broadcaster and classicist Natalie Haynes retells the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective, for fans of Madeline Miller and Pat Barker.
This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all . . .
In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.
From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women embroiled in the legendary war.
Powerfully told from an all-female perspective, in A Thousand Ships Natalie Haynes puts the women, girls and goddesses at the centre of the story.
'With her trademark passion, wit, and fierce feminism, Natalie Haynes gives much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War' – Madeline Miller, author of Circe
'A gripping feminist masterpiece' – Deborah Frances-White, The Guilty Feminist
From Natalie Haynes, the Women's Prize shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships, comes The Children of Jocasta, a retelling of Oedipus and Antigone from the perspectives of the women the myths overlooked.
My siblings and I have grown up in a cursed house, children of cursed parents . . .
Jocasta is just fifteen when she is told that she must marry the King of Thebes, an old man she has never met. Her life has never been her own, and nor will it be, unless she outlives her strange, absent husband.
Ismene is the same age when she is attacked in the palace she calls home. Since the day of her parents' tragic deaths a decade earlier, she has always longed to feel safe with the family she still has. But with a single act of violence, all that is about to change.
With the turn of these two events, a tragedy is set in motion. But not as you know it.
'Haynes balances a fresh take on the material . . . giving new voice to the often-overlooked but fascinating Jocasta and Ismene.' - Madeline Miller, author of Circe.
'Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to!' – Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale
The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.
Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from the Trojan War to Jason and the Argonauts. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men, and have routinely shown little interest in telling women’s stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil. But Pandora – the first woman, who according to legend unloosed chaos upon the world – was not a villain, and even Medea and Phaedra have more nuanced stories than generations of retellings might indicate.
Now, in Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths, Natalie Haynes – broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist – redresses this imbalance. Taking Pandora and her jar (the box came later) as the starting point, she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus or Agamemnon, Paris or Odysseus, Oedipus or Jason, the voices that sing from these pages are those of Hera, Athena and Artemis, and of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.
'A treasure box of classical delights. Never has ancient misogyny been presented with so much wit and style' - historian Amanda Foreman
In Stone Blind, Natalie Haynes – the Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships – brings the infamous Medusa to life as you have never seen her before . . .
'So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’
Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.
When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.
Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .
PRAISE FOR NATALIE HAYNES:
‘With her trademark passion, wit, and fierce feminism… her thoughtful portraits will linger with you long after the book is finished’ - Madeline Miller
‘Haynes combines a wide-ranging knowledge of the original myths with a gift for compelling narrative’ - The Times
‘Natalie Haynes is both a witty and an erudite guide. She wears her extensive learning lightly and deftly drags the Classics into the modern world’ - Kate Atkinson
‘Haynes is master of her trade . . . She succeeds in breathing warm life into some of our oldest stories’ - Telegraph
‘Haynes is the nation’s greatest muse’ - Adam Rutherford
From the Women's Prize-shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships and Pandora's Jar comes a critically-acclaimed novel of grief, myth and Greek tragedy.
When you open up, who will you let in?
Alex Morris has lost everything:her relationship, her career and her faith in the future. Moving to Edinburgh to escape her demons, Alex takes a job teaching at a Pupil Referral Unit. It's a place for kids whose behaviour is so extreme that they cannot be taught in a normal classroom. Alex is fragile with grief and way out of her depth.
Her fourth-year students are troubled and violent. In desperation to reach them, Alex turns to the stories she knows best. Greek tragedy isn't the most obvious way to win over such damaged children, yet these tales of fate, family and vengeance speak directly to them.
Enthralled by the bloodthirsty justice of the ancient world, the teenagers begin to weave the threads of their own tragedy - one that Alex watches, helpless to prevent.
*** Shortlisted for the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2014 ***
*** Longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014 ***
It's time for us to re-examine the past. Our lives are infinitely richer if we take the time to look at what the Greeks and Romans have given us in politics and law, religion and philosophy and education, and to learn how people really lived in Athens, Rome, Sparta and Alexandria. This is a book with a serious point to make but the author isn't simply a classicist but a comedian and broadcaster who has made television and radio documentaries about humour, education and Dorothy Parker. This is a book for us all.
Whether political, cultural or social, there are endless parallels between the ancient and modern worlds. Whether it's the murder of Caesar or the political assassination of Thatcher; the narrative arc of the hit HBO series The Wire or that of Oedipus; the popular enthusiasm for the Emperor Titus or President Obama - over and over again we can be seen to be living very much like people did 2,000 or more years ago.
Una novela magistral sobre la guerra de Troya contada desde una perspectiva femenina.
«Ésta nunca ha sido la historia de una mujer, ni de dos: es la de todas».
En plena noche, una mujer se despierta y observa que su amada ciudad está envuelta en llamas. Los diez años de conflicto entre griegos y troyanos, que parecían no tener fin, quedan atrás, con Troya reducida a cenizas.
Desde las mujeres troyanas, cuyos destinos ahora están en manos de los griegos, hasta la princesa amazona que, en nombre de ellas, luchó contra Aquiles, pasando por Penélope, que espera el regreso de Ulises, o las tres diosas con cuya contienda empezó todo... Éstas son las fabulosas historias de unas mujeres envueltas en una guerra legendaria y marcadas por sus terribles secuelas.
La crítica ha dicho...
«Con la pasión que la caracteriza, su ingenio y un feminismo intenso, Natalie Haynes dota de una voz realmente necesaria a las mujeres silenciadas de la guerra de Troya».
Madeline Miller, autora de Circe
«Absorbente y de un feminismo valiente. [...] Su revisión original de los clásicos es una delicia de múltiples capas».
«Haynes es una maestra de su oficio. [...] Consigue insuflar pasión vital a algunas de nuestras leyendas más antiguas para demostrar cómo han cambiado las relaciones humanas y las emociones más elementales».
«Una historia feminista ingeniosa sobre el sufrimiento, el coraje y la entereza de las mujeres. La frescura de la versión moderna de Haynes de una historia antigua es perfecta para nuestros tiempos».
«Esta vívida reinvención [de la Guerra de Troya] bien vale el viaje».
«Una apasionante obra maestra del feminismo».
Deborah Frances-White, The Guilty Feminist
«Este libro no se limita a reconocer el sufrimiento de las mujeres. De manera vívida, cuenta apasionantes historias de coraje, traición y venganza».
The Washington Post
«Hábil y muy bien tramada. [...] A través de detalles muy evocativos, Haynes consigue recrear de forma admirable la vida de las mujeres griegas y troyanas».
The New York Times
«Un relato cautivador de las vidas de las mujeres de las culturas troyana y griega. [...] Haynes reconstruye con brillantez la visión establecida de la guerra de Troya para plasmar las experiencias de las mujeres.»
It's 531 AD. Emperor Justinian and his ex-prostitute Empress, Theodora, rule the eastern Roman Empire. But fate is fickle; in the sophisticated, complex world of the Byzantine Empire, power and death go hand in hand.
Anastasia, successful ex-courtesan of Constantinople, isn't interested in politics. Instead she plans to spend her retirement reading, entertaining friends and enjoying the sea air. But life, as usual, has other plans. Recovering from a hangover after her retirement party, she's visited by her handsome playboy ex-lover, who begs her help in finding his vanished new bride. It's not long before the corpses begin to pile up, including Anastasia's much-loved protege Helena. Anastasia is advised to take a holiday for her health, but she's not content to let her friend's death go unavenged. Determined to get to the bottom of all this, she sets off to find the elusive teenage bride - and finds herself into more trouble than she bargained for.
Meet Anastasia, a lusty heroine who likes virile men, poetry and a hot bath, in that order; Chloe, her dagger-wielding, ball-crunching slave, and Euphemia, the kind of girl you'd probably rather kill yourself than spend a weekend with.
Sexy, witty historical page turner you won't easily be able to put down...
International animal-smuggling, illicit computer-hacking, break-neck chases and a fast-talking cat. Just your ordinary summer holidays...