2020 Longlist



2020 Longlist

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child – not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she possesses the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in mythology.

As a woman who stands alone, Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods. Finally, to protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all of her strength and choose between the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

About the Author

Madeline Miller is the author of The Song of Achilles winner of the Orange Prize for fiction 2012 and translated into over 25 languages and Circe, which was an instant number 1 New York Times bestseller, and won the Indies Choice Best Adult Fiction of the Year Award plus an American Library Association Alex Award.

Librarian’s Comments

So powerfully written it remains with the reader for a long time after closing the books. Winnipeg Public Library, Canada

In this modern retelling of the myth of Circe, Miller takes the minor character of the Circe, the vengeful witch from the Odyssey and turns her into a fully formed character with a powerful personal story.  The author looks at the psychology of a character who has eternal life and immense power and examines the way in which a woman with this knowledge could create for herself a meaningful life and forge genuine relationships. It is the power of this writing and characterisation that makes Circe feel relevant, rather than just a retelling of a distant tale.  Nottingham City Libraries, England

I liked it because it was totally different than anything I have ever read. It concerns the lives and loves of Greek gods told from a woman’s point of view and is very feminist. Circe is the daughter of the god of the Sun Helios but she is banished to live among humans when she uses her powers of “witchcraft” which frightens the male gods. It is also well written and “literary” in the best sense of the world. Laramie County Library System, USA

A gorgeously written story! Pikes Peak Library District, USA

Circe by Madeline Miller is a masterful feminist retelling of a classical myth. Set in the ancient world of Greek mythology, readers meet Circe – half titan, half nymph who dares to challenge the gods. When she turns to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she possesses the power of witchcraft. Miller’s research and background in classical literature shines through in this novel. Denver Public Library, USA

Circe is an engaging retelling of a Greek myth using lush yet accessible language. Compelling characters and lyrical flow create an immersive experience for the reader. The story is an ancient one, first written down in approximately 700 BCE as The Odyssey. Primarily set in Aiaia, the Greek island to which Circe was exiled, Miller focuses her retelling of the tale on Circe and views characters and events through a feminist lens.  San José Public Library, USA

THE AUTHOR Madeleine


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