Madeline Miller grew up in Philadelphia, has bachelor's and master's degrees in Latin and Ancient Greek from Brown University, and has been teaching both languages for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specializing in adapting classical tales for a modern audience. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.
This biography was last updated on 03/09/2012.
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A brief note from the author, Madeline Miller, on The Song of Achilles
I have loved ancient Greece since I was five and my mother began reading me the Greek myths. I was enthralled: by the larger-than-life gods, the epic adventures, and most particularly by the stories of the Trojan War, with its noble and deeply flawed heroes. "Sing, goddess, of the terrible rage of Achilles," begins The Iliad. The words resonated in me, lingering long after my mother had closed the book and turned out the light.
Years later, when I became a student of Greek and Latin, I immediately sought out The Iliad. The poetry and language were gorgeous, the story even more compelling than I remembered. I spent a summer in Greece working on an archaeological dig, and my copy of the The Iliad came with me. There, wandering in olive groves and swimming in the beautiful Aegean, I began to think of how I, too, could sing of these ancient tales.
I had always been especially moved by Achilles, and his desperate grief over the loss of his companion Patroclus. But who was Patroclus? I searched the ancient texts for every mention of his name, and discovered an amazing man: exile and outcast, loyal and self-sacrificing, compassionate in a world where ...
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