The Guardian’s chief culture writer, Charlotte Higgins, writes brilliantly on all aspects of Classics, from Roman Britain to her latest book, a revelatory retelling of the key Ancient Greek myths, focusing on female figures, including Athena, Andromache, Helen and Penelope. Comparing her new book to an ancient mythological compendium, Charlotte Higgins writes that it sets out ‘to underline the power of the Greek myths to produce resonance for every new reader and writer, and for every generation’.
Charlotte Higgins will be in conversation with novelist and biographer Carlo Gébler, whose latest novel, I, Antigone, is the unforgettable story of Oedipus, as written by his daughter, Antigone. In this vigorous and original new telling, Antigone’s ‘biography’ of her father asks us to re-evaluate the extent to which any of us can entirely be blamed for the actions by which we will be defined.
‘When we are in trouble, as we are today, we revert to the literature of the ancients,’ Gébler wrote in his recent version of Aesop’s Fables. Together these two superb authors will explore the ways in which the Greek myths are, in Higgins’ words, ‘the opposite of timeless: they are timely.’
This event will be chaired by arts broadcaster and journalist, Paula Shields
Knight of Glin Room, City Assembly House, Dublin
Tickets: €12.50/€7.50 for students.
Charlotte Higgins's previous books include the acclaimed Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, which was shortlisted for awards including the Samuel Johnson (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for non-fiction, and Red Thread, which was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and won the Arnold Bennett Prize 2019. She is chief culture writer of the Guardian, a past winner of the Classical Association prize, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She lives in London.
Carlo Gébler is a novelist, biographer, playwright, memoirist and critic. His novel, I, Antigone, the biography of Oedipus as written by his daughter, Antigone, was published in the autumn of 2021. Other recent publications (all from New Island Books) include Aesop’s Fables, the Cruelty of the Gods (a collaboration with the artist Gavin Weston), The Wing Orderly’s Tales, a collection of stories told by a prison orderly, The Projectionist, the Story of Ernest Gébler, a biography of his father, The Innocent of Falkland Road, a novel set in London in the 1960s, and Tales We Tell Ourselves, A Selection from the Decameron.
Carlo Gébler has been a prison teacher since the early 1990s, most recently at Hydebank College where he helped to run ’The Saturday Club’ for young offenders and female prisoners; he currently works in HMP Maghaberry where he combines OU essay supervision with creative writing. He teaches at Trinity College Dublin and the American College, Dublin and is a member of Aosdána. He is married, has five children and he has lived in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, since 1989.
Paula Shields is a writer, researcher and interviewer. An arts journalist since the 1990s, she has worked in London and Dublin in print, television and now radio: on Arena, RTE’s flagship arts show. Other professional highlights include originating and researching the IFTA award-winning television documentary, Fairytale of New York, in 2017, and judging the 2017 and 2018 Irish Times Theatre Awards.