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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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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