Bestselling author and Radio 4 presenter Natalie Haynes returns to the world of Greek myth she so wittily explored in Pandora’s Jar and turns her focus on Olympus itself – not on the gods, who have had far more attention than they deserve over the millennia since these stories were first told, but on the goddesses.
She’ll be giving a talk, hosting a Q&A and signing copies of her new book Divine Might at Monmouth’s Blake theatre this Friday evening (September 29).
Meet Athene, who sprang fully formed from her father’s brow (giving Zeus a killer headache), goddess of war, guardian of the city named for her and sacred to her, and provider of wise counsel.
Here, too, is Aphrodite, born of the foam (or, some sources say, sperm released from a castrated Titan’s testicles), the most beautiful of all the Olympian goddesses, dispensing desire and inspiring longing – but with a nasty line in brutal punishment of those who displeased her.
And then there is Hera, the long-suffering wife of Zeus, whose jealousy of his repeated dalliances with mortals, nymphs and other goddesses, led her to wreak elaborate and often painful revenge on those she felt had wronged her. Well, wouldn’t you?
The writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian Ntalaie Haynes is the author of The Amber Fury, shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, and The Children of Jocasta, a feminist retelling of the Oedipus and Antigone stories.
Other fictional works include A Thousand Ships, a retelling of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective, shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, and Stone Blind, a re-telling of the Medusa story long listed for the same prize. Non-fiction books include The Ancient Guide to Modern Life and Pandora’s Jar about the women in Greek myths.
She has written and presented seven series of the BBC Radio 4 show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, and was awarded the Classical Association Prize in 2015 for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience.
Natalie Haynes will be appearing at the Blake at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at the box office or via www.theblaketheatre.org