A stunning reimagining of the Oedipus and Antigone stories told from the perspectives of the women the myths overlooked.
Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of The Amber Fury, which was shortlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year award, and a non-fiction book about Ancient History, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. She has written and presented two series of the BBC Radio 4 show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. In 2015, she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience.
Natalie Haynes takes on Sophocles in her vivid and affecting second
novel -- Fiction to look out for in 2017 * Observer *
Glorious, gripping and brutal . . . I loved it * Victoria Derbyshire *
New life is breathed into a powerful ancient story through Natalie Haynes's clever and vivid story telling. * Martha Kearney *
Nearly every page of Natalie Haynes's The Children of Jocasta could stand alone as poetry. This is a visceral, engrossing, and meticulously-crafted reimagining of two of the most important stories of all time. A truly remarkable feat * Dr Amanda Foreman *
In this gripping novel, Haynes takes us to the breaking heart of one epically dysfunctional family and makes heroines of those previously doomed to be spectators of their own tragedy * Damian Barr, author of Maggie & Me *
A fresh, accessible take on a great story * Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin *
Haynes is master of her trade, crafting perfect sentences and believable characters who speak and think in delicately nuanced language. [She] succeeds in breathing warm life into some of our oldest stories to show how remarkably little basic human relationships and emotions have changed * Telegraph *
Haynes's fascination with this long vanished world is evident in every line . . . Her Thebes... is vividly captured: a place of hard light and sharp shadows, dust, fountains and dry heat. * Guardian *
Atmospherically evoking a landscape of longed-for lakes and dark mountains, Haynes also subtly explores the "space between us and them" - between rulers and the people; parents and children; our personas and most secret selves * Observer *
A wonderful and inventive take on an ancient tale -- Antonia Senior * The Times *
Haynes has written her own version of the tragedy, finding new space in the narrative by looking at it through the eyes of two characters neglected by antiquity: Oedipus's mother/bride Jocasta and their youngest daughter Ismene . . . Some of this novel's greatest satisfactions come from the way Haynes translates the story out of the mythic and into a naturalistic register of love, loss and ambition . . . The ancient city state comes vividly alive in Haynes's hands, and canny deviations from the archetypal outline keep the suspense going. In The Children of Jocasta, Haynes has written a fine new story between the old lines. * Spectator *
A passionate and gripping account of a famously dysfunctional family. Haynes balances a fresh take on the material with a deep love for her sources, wearing her scholarship with grace, and giving new voice to the often-overlooked but fascinating Jocasta and Ismene. * Madeline Miller, Orange Prize winning author of The Song of Achilles *