Pandora's Jar

By Natalie Haynes,

Book cover of Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

Book description

'Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to!' - Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale

The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Pandora's Jar as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book hooked me like few others have. I usually prefer fiction, but Haynes’s discussion of women in the Greek myths made me reassess so many things I had thought I knew about the subject.

She talks about ten women, including Pandora, Helen, Medusa, Medea, Penelope, and the Amazons. Haynes traces the origins and ongoing writing featuring these characters. I was fascinated to find how many different representations some of them have had.

Haynes makes obvious the misogyny in many of the portrayals, especially when contrasted with how the men are described. She does all of this in a very…

In this witty and intelligent book, broadcaster and novelist Natalie Haynes applies a woman’s mind to stories that in the past have been told to us mostly by men. She presents us with ten female characters who not only feature in ancient myths, but also have starring roles in later paintings, plays, novels, films, operas, and musicals. They include Pandora, Helen, Medusa, Eurydice, and Penelope: whether traditionally seen as victims or villains, all these women are explored in their ‘difficult, messy, murderous’ complexity. 

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