Beginner's Pluck

MADELINE MILLER was brought up to love books.

Her mother was a librarian and Kindergarten teacher. “I studied Latin and Greek in High School. It was after I graduated that I started to think seriously about writing.

“In college I directed Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. It was amazing talking to Achilles about how he should walk. That sparked something. I thought, if I can direct these characters, maybe I could write about them too. I sat down in a trance and started writing. The book took 10 years, but Achilles character remained the same.”

Who is Madeline Miller?

Date/place of birth: July 24, 1978; Boston, Massachusetts.

Education: Brown College. BA and MA Latin and Ancient Greek.

Home: Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Family: Fiancé, Nathanial.

The Day Job: “I was teaching Latin in High School full time. Now I’m tutoring pupils on the side; in Latin, Greek and some English.”

Hobbies: “I love to walk. And I love the theatre. Particularly directing.”

Favourite Writers: “I really love Virgil’s Aenead. I get so much inspiration from it.”

Second Novel: “I would love to return to the Homeric world. There are still so many stories I want to tell.”

Top Writing Tip: “If I’m stuck with something, I go for a walk. I carry a notebook and scribble things down.”

Web: www.madelinemiller.com Twitter: @millermadeline

The Debut

The Song of Achilles. Bloomsbury: €13.99. Kindle: €8.59. It’s Greece in the age of heroes. Cowardly Prince Patroclus, exiled by his father, is taken up by Achilles. But will their bond survive the rigours of devastation and war?

“I tried to write in a way that people who are not familiar with the Iliad can still enjoy my book.; without spoiling the pleasure for people who know the background.

“My greatest hope is that people will read this and say, ‘now I want to read the Iliad.’”

The Verdict: Written as a moving love story, this novel breathes life into the Trojan War.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Book review: The Privileged

Book review: Raoul Wallenberg: The Biography

Book review: When She Was Bad

Book review: The Wing Orderly’s Tales


You might also like

Breaking Stories

War of Independence era bomb made safe in Cork city

Latest: FF and FG accused of 'old backroom deals approach' to Seanad nominations

Kenny defends decision to split Dept of Environment

Adi Roche receives the Freedom of Cork City

Lifestyle

How The River cemented Bruce Springsteen's place in music

Should women be entitled to period leave? One employer certainly thinks so.

VIDEO: How much would you pay to save your pet?

How to find a balance between 'clean' eating and healthy eating

More From The Irish Examiner