From the “terrifyingly talented” (London Times) author of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG-IN THE NIGHT-TIME and THE PORPOISE, eight mesmerizingly imaginative, deeply-humane stories that use Greek myths and contemporary dystopian narratives to examine mortality, moral choices and the many variants of love.

Greek myths have fascinated people for millenia, seeing in them lessons about fate and hubris and the contingency of existence.  Mark Haddon digs into the heart of these ancient fables and sees them anew.  The dawn goddess Eos asked asks Zeus to give her lover Tithonus eternal life, but forgets to ask for eternal youth.  In “The Quiet Limit of the World” Haddon imagines Tithonus’ life as he slowly ages over thousands of years, turning the cautionary tale of tempting the gods into a spellbinding meditation on witnessing death from the outside, and ultimately, how carnal love evolves into something richer and more poignant with time.  In “The Mother’s Story,” Haddon takes the myth of the minotaur in his labyrinth, in which the beast is the spawn of the monstrous lust of the king’s wife Pasiphae, and turns it into a wrenching parable of maternal love for a damaged child, and the more real monstrosities of patriarchy.  In “D.O.G.Z.” the story of Actaeon, who was turned into a stag after glimpsing the naked goddess Diana and torn to pieces by his hunting dogs, becomes a visceral metaphor about the continuum of human and animal behavior.

Other stories play with contemporary mythic tropes – genetic engineering, trying to escape the future, the viciousness of adolescent ostracism – to showcase how modern humans are subject to the same capriciousness that obsessed the Greeks.  Haddon’s tales cover a vast range, from the mythic to the domestic, from ancient Greece to the present day, from stories about love to stories about cruelty, from battlefields to bed and breakfasts, from dogs in space to doors between worlds, all of them bound together by a profound sympathy and an understanding of how human beings act and think and feel when pushed to the very edge.  Throughout Haddon’s supple prose showcases his astonishing powers of observation, of both the physical world and the workings of the psyche.  His vision is clear-eyed, but always resolutely empathetic.
© Charles Moriarty
Mark Haddon is the author of the bestselling novels The Red House and A Spot of Bother. His novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and is the basis for the Tony Award–winning play. He is the author of a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, has written and illustrated numerous children’s books, and has won awards for both his radio dramas and his television screenplays. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England. View titles by Mark Haddon

About

From the “terrifyingly talented” (London Times) author of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG-IN THE NIGHT-TIME and THE PORPOISE, eight mesmerizingly imaginative, deeply-humane stories that use Greek myths and contemporary dystopian narratives to examine mortality, moral choices and the many variants of love.

Greek myths have fascinated people for millenia, seeing in them lessons about fate and hubris and the contingency of existence.  Mark Haddon digs into the heart of these ancient fables and sees them anew.  The dawn goddess Eos asked asks Zeus to give her lover Tithonus eternal life, but forgets to ask for eternal youth.  In “The Quiet Limit of the World” Haddon imagines Tithonus’ life as he slowly ages over thousands of years, turning the cautionary tale of tempting the gods into a spellbinding meditation on witnessing death from the outside, and ultimately, how carnal love evolves into something richer and more poignant with time.  In “The Mother’s Story,” Haddon takes the myth of the minotaur in his labyrinth, in which the beast is the spawn of the monstrous lust of the king’s wife Pasiphae, and turns it into a wrenching parable of maternal love for a damaged child, and the more real monstrosities of patriarchy.  In “D.O.G.Z.” the story of Actaeon, who was turned into a stag after glimpsing the naked goddess Diana and torn to pieces by his hunting dogs, becomes a visceral metaphor about the continuum of human and animal behavior.

Other stories play with contemporary mythic tropes – genetic engineering, trying to escape the future, the viciousness of adolescent ostracism – to showcase how modern humans are subject to the same capriciousness that obsessed the Greeks.  Haddon’s tales cover a vast range, from the mythic to the domestic, from ancient Greece to the present day, from stories about love to stories about cruelty, from battlefields to bed and breakfasts, from dogs in space to doors between worlds, all of them bound together by a profound sympathy and an understanding of how human beings act and think and feel when pushed to the very edge.  Throughout Haddon’s supple prose showcases his astonishing powers of observation, of both the physical world and the workings of the psyche.  His vision is clear-eyed, but always resolutely empathetic.

Author

© Charles Moriarty
Mark Haddon is the author of the bestselling novels The Red House and A Spot of Bother. His novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and is the basis for the Tony Award–winning play. He is the author of a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, has written and illustrated numerous children’s books, and has won awards for both his radio dramas and his television screenplays. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England. View titles by Mark Haddon