They are part of a recent generation of female authors and translators who have breathed new life into Homer's epics The Iliad
and The Odyssey
, questioning the existing male-dominated analysis of his complex mythic characters.
How do these re-imaginings challenge our understanding of the original work? Are we only now beginning to see Homer's characters – both male and female, mortal and immortal – fully?
There have been more than 60 English translations of The Odyssey since the first by George Chapman in the early 17th century, but only one has been by a woman. That woman, Emily Wilson, appears via a live stream to discuss the unique challenges she faced.
Joining Wilson in discussion are Orange Prize for Fiction-winning author Madeline Miller, whose two celebrated novels, The Song of Achilles and Circe, re-cast mythic characters, and Sharlene Teo, whose debut novel Ponti transposes a Circe-like figure into present-day Singapore.
Miller's The Song of Achilles 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.
Sharlene Teo was born in Singapore in 1987. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she received the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship and the David TK Wong Creative Writing award. In 2016, she won the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writer's Award for Ponti.