The Children of Jocasta

A Novel

by Natalie Haynes

On Sale: 10/22/2024

The Children of Jocasta

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The Children of Jocasta

A Novel

by Natalie Haynes

On Sale: 10/22/2024

Format:

About the Book

“Reinterprets two of Sophocles’ Theban plays, Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone. . . . the alternating structure proves powerful.”—The New Yorker

“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, New York Times bestselling author of The Song of Achilles and Circe

The New York Times bestselling author of Pandora's Jar and Stone Blind returns with a powerful retelling of Oedipus and Antigone from the perspectives of the women the myths overlooked.

When you have grown up as I have, there is no security in not knowing things, in avoiding the ugliest truths because they can't be faced . . . Because that is what happened the last time, and that is why my siblings and I have grown up in a cursed house, children of cursed parents . . .

Jocasta is just fifteen when she is told that she must marry the King of Thebes, an old man she has never met. Her life has never been her own, and nor will it be, unless she outlives her strange, absent husband.

Ismene is the same age when she is attacked in the palace she calls home. Since the day of her parents' tragic deaths a decade earlier, she has always longed to feel safe with the family she still has. But with a single act of violence, all that is about to change.

With the turn of these two events, a tragedy is set in motion. But not as we’ve known it.

Critical Praise

"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, New York Times bestselling author of The Song of Achilles and Circe.

“Reinterprets two of Sophocles’ Theban plays, Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone. . . . the alternating structure proves powerful.” — The New Yorker

"This Gordian knot of incest still has the power to shock, and Haynes is deft with it and with its consequences for the next generation. Her grasp of the ancient city-state is marvelously firm. Her sturdy sentences conjure the punishing Greek summer heat that quells movement and the gold rings bunching the fat on the fingers of florid men." — Kirkus Reviews

“The legends of Oedipus and his daughter Antigone are told through two interwoven story lines in Haynes’s dark, elegant novel . . . . Haynes’s greatest achievement is imagining a full world surrounding Sophocles’s tragedies, thrusting two minor characters in their respective plays to the forefront and bringing the myths vividly to life.  — Publishers Weekly

“This is a novel firmly grounded in the physical world, as its language—sensuous, graphic, and violent—shouts aloud to the reader. The world-building, too, is marvelous—no one who has passed through the gates of Thebes as described here is likely ever to forget the experience. Highly recommended.” — Historical Novel Society

"Wonderful." — Times (UK)

"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063418301
  • ISBN 10: 0063418304
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 10/22/2024
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price:37.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Classics
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Historical / Ancient

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