NPR

Novel Reimagines Homer's Malevolent Witch Circe As Powerful Feminist Deity

The goddess is perhaps best known for turning men into pigs in Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey." But in "Circe," author Madeline Miller offers a more intricate portrayal.
"Circe," by Madeline Miller. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Madeline Miller‘s powerful new novel recasts the goddess Circe, best known for turning Odysseus’ men into pigs in Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey,” as a powerful feminist goddess. The book follows Circe’s eternities-long life as she navigates the worlds of deities and mortals, finding humanity — and power — unknown among gods and titans.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Miller (@MillerMadeline) about “Circe.”

Book Excerpt: ‘Circe’

By Madeline Miller

When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins. Least of the lesser goddesses, our powers were so modest they could scarcely ensure our eternities. We spoke to fish and nurtured flowers, coaxed drops from the clouds or salt from the waves. That word, , paced out the length and breadth of our futures. In our language, it.

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