Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.
Along with a few Sunday school stories and fairy tales, Greek myths were some of the first stories that I was exposed to. Before I knew anything at all about hobbits or Jesus lions, I could recite the names of all the Olympians and a few of the Titans. Jason and Theseus and Hercules and Perseus were way more familiar to little-Me than Robin Hood or Wyatt Earp or Frodo. As I got older and read more of the myths, plays, and poems of ancient Greece, unedited, I became a bit uncomfortable with the casual sexism and idiotic violence of it all. Other, later works, like the Aeneid, proved deeper, prettier, and more intellectually stimulating than the Bronze Age Greek stuff. Nevertheless, I have always had a special place in my heart for the old tales.
Circe, by Madeline Miller, therefore, proved to be the perfect book to get me out of my fiction-funk. It tells the “life” story of Circe, the premier witch of ancient Greek myth, from Circe’s point of view.