Galatea by Madeline Miller
A retelling of the classic story of Pygmalion and his unearthly creation, this is a potent bit of literature with the extra benefit of being a beautiful package that would work as a stocking stuffer for any book lover.
Madeline Miller has given us wonderful adaptations of classic Greek stories about Circe and Achilles, bringing modern sensibilities to age old stories, creating fresh and exciting fiction that resonates with contemporary readers. Here she repeats this feat with a recounting of the Pygmalion myth wherein a sculptor creates the perfect woman in stone: she is given life by the gods and becomes his wife. Here the story derives its impetus from the classic in that Galatea, as she has become known, plots to escape from the artist’s onerous grasp. Pygmalion, as we know, is a pig.
While seeming to be an attentive, obedient spouse, Galatea manipulates her vile husband into a position where… well, you need to read the story. The tale has been retold, most memorably and perhaps misleadingly, in the musical play “My Fair Lady”, itself a sanitized version of a George Bernard Shaw work. This account has a little more punch than the gorgeously produced movie we all know. It is a quick read and has the virtue exemplified in most short stories of strong feelings quickly rendered, like pulling a tooth: the quicker the better. Ouch, indeed.
A wonderful gift for any lover of classics, literature or just good storytelling, it is a lovely small hardcover that would fit any book lover’s stocking nicely.