Huffpost UK 31/05/2012
In a quiet room in the back of London's Southbank Centre, where moments before she’d been awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction for her debut novel The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller is excited and animated - particularly as she discusses her love of the classics.
“When I was very young, my Mother used to read the Iliad and the Greek myths to me as bedtime stories,” she explains.
“Then, when we lived in New York, she’d take me to the Metropolian Museum of Art to see the amazing statues there. My love for the period just grew and grew.”
The Song of Achilles develops the story of Patroclus, the brother-in-arms of Achilles who appears briefly in Homer’s Illiad.
Inevitably, Miller’s victory has already been cited as evidence of a cultural classics revival, as David Malouf’s Random (which retells the Iliad from books 16 to 24) did last year after it was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award.
If we are about to undergo a revival of interest in the stories of the ancient world - something that certainly appears to be happening in film and computer games - the unassuming Latin teacher from Boston will be as pleased as anyone.
“Some of these old stories, like Homer, have developed a reputation for being a bit elitist. That’s not how they were when they were written and composed - they were for everyone. I’d love to see that become the case again,” she says.
Full story at HuffPost UK