As a young girl growing up in New York City, Madeline Miller felt a strong attachment to the literature and culture of Greco-Roman civilization. Mesmerized by the heroic exploits of Hercules, Achilles, and Aeneas, Miller pursued her passion at Brown University, where she received a BA and MA in Latin and Ancient Greek. Miller also studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale University’s School of Drama, where she learned the art of adapting classical texts to modern tastes.
In Miller’s debut novel, The Song of Achilles, the timeless tale of Homer’s Iliad is given new form and direction via the perspective of Achilles’ beloved companion, Patroclus. The heart of the novel is tale of friendship and love between two men, with interlocking fates. Seamlessly blending Homeric convention with modern diction, Miller’s novel is an absorbing and enchanting read. In this interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia took the time to speak with Miller about her new novel and what inspired her to write about the ancient world.