4 In Focus: An Interview with Madeline Miller about Circe (JP, GT)

On June 6, 2019, an article based on this podcast appeared in our partner publication, Public Books. 

In this episode, John and Gina Turrigiano speak with Madeline Miller, author of the critically acclaimed bestseller Circe. They discuss Circe’s place in Greek mythology and in a retelling of the Odyssey “from below” or “from the side,” the concept of “mythological realism,” and the influence of The Once and Future King on Madeline’s writing. They touch too on the sweet family aspects that show up in Homer, and on Odysseus’s changing reputation throughout time. Then, in Recallable Books, Madeline recommends I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde and The Two Noble Kinsmen by Shakespeare.

Ulysse et Mercure devant Circé

[Annibale Caracci, “Ulysses and Circe” c. 1605]

Discussed in this episode:

Circe, Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

The Odyssey, Homer (trans. Emily Wilson)

Argonautica, Apollonius Rhodius (trans. R.C. Seaton)

Telegony, unknown (trans. H.G. Evelyn-White)

MetamorphosesOvid (trans. Sir Samuel Garth, John Dryden, et al.)

The Once and Future King, T.H. White

I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, Maryse Conde

The Two Noble Kinsmen, William Shakespeare

A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor

Listen to the podcast:

(episode transcript available here: Madeline Miller RTB Transcript Episode 4)

Author: plotznik

I teach English (mainly the novel and Victorian literature) at Brandeis University, and live in Brookline.

4 thoughts on “4 In Focus: An Interview with Madeline Miller about Circe (JP, GT)”

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