Classical Myth Retellings

Due to my love of all things ancient I have decided to compile a list of books inspired by classical myth and history. Naturally, this list won’t be exhaustive but I hope to continue to expand upon it as I discover new titles. I have also provided a key with some of the information I think you may find most useful when trying to look through the list.

A further resource you should check out if you are specifically interested in classical receptions in children’s and young adult literature is the Our Mythical Childhood project.

Key: Adult, Young Adult, Children’s, Short Story Collections, Poetry, Graphic Novel, Ancient setting, Modern setting, 1st in a series & Queer characters.

Ali Smith – Girl Meets Boy, A, Mod, Q, (inspired by Iphis)

Ali Smith – The Story of Antigone, C, Anc, (inspired by Antigone)

Anne Carson – Autobiography of Red, A, P, Q, (inspired by Hercules)

Anwen Kya Hayward – Here, the World Entire, A, Anc, (inspired by Medusa)

Arthur Machen – The Great God PanA, Mod, (inspired by Pan and Helen of Troy)

Caroline Lawrence – The Thieves of OstiaC, Anc, 1st, (various)

Chigozi Obioma – An Orchestra of Minorities, A, Mod, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Christa Wolf – Cassandra, A, Anc, (inspired by Cassandra)

Christopher Logue – War Music, A, P, (inspired by Homer’s Iliad)

Colleen McCullough – The Song of Troy, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan War)

Colm Tóibín – House of NamesA, Anc, (inspired by Clytemnestra)

Daisy Johnson – Everything UnderA, Mod, (inspired by Oedipus)

Djibril al-Ayad and Emma Bridges – Making MonstersA, S, (various)

Eli Goldstone – Strange Heart BeatingA, Mod, (inspired by Leda and the swan)

Elizabeth Tammi – Outrun the Wind, Y, Anc, Q, (inspired by Artemis and Atlanta)

Emily Hauser – For the Most Beautiful A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by the Trojan Women)

Fiona Benson – Vertigo and Ghost, A, P, (inspired by Zeus)

Francesca Lia Block – Love in the Time of Global Warming, Y, Mod, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Han Kang – The Vegetarian, A, Mod, (inspired by Daphne and Apollo)

Isabel Greenberg & Imogen Greenberg – AthenaC, G, Anc, (inspired by Athena)

Jean Anouilh – AntigoneA, Anc, (inspired by Antigone)

Jeanette Winterson – Weight, A, Anc, (inspired by Atlas)

Jo Walton – The Just City, A, 1st, (inspired by Plato’s Republic)

Jules Watson – The White MareA, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Agricola and the Roman invasion of Britain)

Kamila Shamsi – Home Fire, A, Mod, (inspired by Antigone)

Kate Bernheimer – XO Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, A, S, (various)

Kate Tempest – Hold Your Own, A, P, Mod, Q, (inspired by Tireseus)

Katherine Beutner – Alcestis, A, Anc, (inspired by Alcestis)

Linda Bostrom Knausgaard – The Helios Disaster, A, Mod, (inspired by Athena & Zeus)

Liz Lochhead – Medea, A, Anc, (inspired by Medea)

Liz Lochhead – Thebans, A, Anc, (inspired by Oedipus, Jocasta and Antigone)

Madeline Miller – The Song of Achilles, A, Anc, Q, (inspired by Achilles and Patrocolus)

Madeline Miller – Circe, A, Anc, (inspired by Circe)

Margaret Atwood – The Penelopiad, A, Anc, (inspired by Penelope and Odysseus)

Marie Phillips – Gods Behaving BadlyA, Mod, (inspired by the Olympians)

Mary Renault – The King Must Die, A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Theseus)

Mary Renault – Fire From Heaven, A, Anc, 1st, Q, (inspired by Alexander the Great)

Mary Tighe – PsycheA, P, (inspired by Cupid and Psyche)

Matt Fraction – ODY-CA, Mod, G, 1st, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Maz Evans – Who Let the Gods OutC, Mod, 1st, (various)

Meg Cabot – AbandonY, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Persephone and Hades)

Michael Hughes – CountryA, Mod, (inspired by the Iliad)

Naomi Mitchison – The Blood of the Martyrs, A, Anc, (inspired by the reign of the emperor Nero)

Naomi Mitchison – Black SpartaA, Anc, S, (inspired by Sparta)

Natalie Haynes – The Children of Jocasta, A, Anc, (inspired by Jocasta and Ismene)

Natalie Haynes – A Thousand  Ships, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan War)

Pat Barker – The Silence of the Girls, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan Women)

Patrick Dillon – IthacaA, Anc, (inspired by Telemachus)

Pauline Gedge, The Eagle and the Raven, A, Anc, (inspired by Boudicca)

P. C. Cast, Goddess of Spring, A, Mod, (inspired by Demeter, Persephone and Hades)

P. C. Cast, Goddess of Troy, A, Mod, (inspired by the Trojan War)

Philip Freeman – Oh My GodsA, Mod, S, (various)

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif, C, Mod, 1st, (various)

Robert Graves – Greek Myths, A, S, Anc, (various)

Rosemary Sutcliff – The Eagle of the NinthC, Anc, (inspired by the Roman Invasion of Britain)

Salley Vickers – Where Three Roads Meet, A, (inspired by Oedipus)

Sarah Diemer – A Dark Wife Y, Anc, Q, (inspired by Persephone and Hades)

Sarah McGarry – All Our Pretty Songs, Y, Mod, 1st, Q, (inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice)

Simon Armitage – The Last Days of Troy, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan Horse)

Stephen Fry – Mythos, A, S, Anc, (various)

Stephen Fry – Heroes, A, S, Anc, (various)

Victor Pelevin – The Helmet of Horror, A, Mod, (inspired by Theseus and the Minotaur)

William Shakespeare – Titus AndronicusA, Anc, (inspired by Tereus and Philomela)

William Shakespeare – Troilus and CressidaA, Anc, (inspired by Troy)

Zachary Mason – The Lost Books of the Odyssey, A, Anc, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Zachary Mason – MetamorphicaA, S, (inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis)


If you are interested in reading some original Greek & Roman myths watch this video:


4 thoughts on “Classical Myth Retellings

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