Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bettany Hughes's 6 best books

Bettany Hughes is an author, historian and chair of judges for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her new book is The Hemlock Cup.

One of her six best books, as told to the Scottish Sunday Express:
The Iliad
by Homer

This might sound obvious or marginally pretentious but this epic and its companion volume The Odyssey sing with passion and timeless insights into the human condition. And he comes up with remarkably sensitive phrases: children are a “welcome burden” in the lap, Athena brushes away an arrow from a warrior as gently as “a mother shooing a fly from her sleeping child”.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Iliad also appears on James Anderson Winn's five best list of works of war poetry and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best funerals in literature and ten of the best examples of ekphrasis. It is one of Karl Marlantes's top ten war stories.

--Marshal Zeringue