What a fantastic opportunity: the winner of the 2012 Orange Prize, Madeline Miller, and one of the other shortlisted authors, Georgina Harding, in one room to tell you about writing, reading, prize lists and more.
Madeline Miller’s winning novel, The Song of Achilles is a haunting and beautiful retelling of the Iliad, examining the life of Achilles from the perspective of his best friend, confidante and lover Patroclus. When Achilles must leave for war in Troy, Patroclus goes too: never knowing that the events in Troy will test and shatter everything they know and understand. A stunning début novel, The Song of Achilles is a new examination of one of the ancient stories that form the backbone of Western civilisation.
In contrast, Georgina Harding’s Painter of Silence examines a far more modern conflict: set in Romania in the 1950s, this is the intensely private tale of Augustin, found deaf and mute and nameless on the steps of a hospital. He cannot communicate until given paper and pencils so that he can draw. As he does so, memories appear on the page. The story of Augustin and Safta, the son of Augustin’s master, is one of wordless communication, idyllic summers and fleeting love affairs- until war, and a vicious regime, shatter the world they inhabit.