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An Introduction to The Odyssey

Part of London Literature Festival

Who is Odysseus? Why can't he get home? And will the gods help or hinder his journey? Find out from our panel, chaired by cult classicist Mary Beard.

Beard is joined in discussion by author and academic Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek at Cambridge, memoirist and translator Daniel Mendelsohn, poet Karen McCarthy Woolf and Orange Prize for Fiction-winning author Madeline Miller.

Ahead of an abridged live reading of The Odyssey, hear the essential details about Homer's epic and discover why one of the earliest works of Western literature continues to be a source of inspiration to artists and authors.

Mary Beard is a professor of Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the Classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim. Her books include the bestsellers Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town (winner of the Wolfson History Prize), SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, and Women & Power: A Manifesto. Alongside Simon Schama and David Olusoga, she presented the BBC's recent landmark art history series Civilisations.

Simon Goldhill is Professor of Greek at Cambridge, where he also directs the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities. He has published many prize-winning books on Greek literature and on Victorian culture. He has lectured all over the world and is a regular broadcaster in Britain, America and Australia.

Born in London to English and Jamaican parents, Karen McCarthy Woolf writes poetry and drama and has presented her work across the world. Her collection An Aviary of Small Birds was shortlisted for the Forward Felix Dennis and Fenton Aldeburgh prizes. She makes radio features and drama for BBC Radio 3 and 4, including The Odyssey Project: My Name is Nobody – Night Shift, an adapted version of The Odyssey as a migratory text for Book of the Week.

Daniel Mendelsohn, an award-winning memoirist, translator and essayist, writes frequently for the New Yorker. His books include the international bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million and a translation of the poetry of Constantine Cavafy. His latest memoir, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son and an Epic, was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and named a best book of 2017 by numerous publications.

Madeleine Miller is the author of The Song of Achilles, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012, was shortlisted for the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2012, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and has been translated into twenty-eight languages. Her second novel, Circe, was a Sunday Times hardback fiction bestseller and debuted at number one in the New York Times.

Presented by Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival in collaboration with the Times Literary Supplement and the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture at King’s College London.

Dates & times

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where

Queen Elizabeth Hall

Pricing

£15
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£15

Multi-buy discount
A multi-buy discount is available on a selection of events within London Literature Festival. Book two or more of these events in the same transaction and receive a 20% discount.

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25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 16+.

Multi-buy discount
A multi-buy discount is available on a selection of events within London Literature Festival. Book two or more of these events in the same transaction and receive a 20% discount.

Access information
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