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
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