Courtesy of the author.
, b. 1944
Adèle Geras was born in Jerusalem in 1944. Owing to the fact that her father was in the Colonial Service, she travelled a lot and lived in several countries (e.g. Cyprus, Tanzania, Nigeria etc.) when she was a child. She attended Roedean School in Brighton and later graduated from St. Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1966. She has been a full-time writer since 1976.
Adèle Geras is a prolific writer – she has penned more than ninety books for children, young adults and adults. The Girls in the Velvet Frame was her first full-length novel. She is best known for books such as Troy, Ithaka, Happy Ever After, Silent Snow, Secret Snow and A Thousand Yards of Sea. She has received prizes for poetry and two of her books: The Sydney Taylor Book Award for My Grandmother's Stories and the National Jewish Book Award for Golden Windows.
She lives in Great Shelford, near Cambridge. Her late husband, Norman Geras (1943-2013), was a Marxist political theorist based at the University of Manchester. One of her two daughters, Sophie Hannah, is also a published author, writing crime fiction and poetry.
Bio prepared by Agnieszka Maciejewska, Univesity of Warsaw, email@example.com, and Miriam Riverlea, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. What drew you to writing about Classical Antiquity and what challenges did you face in selecting, representing, or adapting particular myths or stories?
I have always been interested in the classics and knew the stories of Homer and the Greek myths from a very young age. I've written three novels set in Classical Antiquity: Troy, Ithaka and Dido.
2. Why do you think classical / ancient myths, history, and literature continue to resonate with young audiences?
For one reason: they are amazingly exciting stories. About things that matter and emotions that we all still feel.
3. Do you have a background in classical education (Latin or Greek at school or classes at the University?) What sources are you using? Scholarly work? Wikipedia? Are there any books that made an impact on you in this respect?
I did Latin at school till age 16. But I grew up with translations of the myths and also later read Homer in translation. I don't use much research. I reread the Iliad for Troy, the Odyssey for Ithaka and Vergil's Aeneid Book four for Dido. For Cleopatra I had a research assistant appointed by the publisher called Alison Stanley and she was wonderful and provided me with all the relevant facts and she was also my editor on Cleopatra.
4. How concerned were you with "accuracy" or "fidelity" to the original?
I wanted it to be true to the spirit of Homer and I didn't knowingly alter things BUT invented my own characters and made up the story that they were involved in. Accuracy was sometimes not so good. I have cooks using LEMONS in Ithaca, to baste the meat they are cooking and it seems lemons were unknown in Classical Greece!
5. Are you planning any further forays into classical material?
I would love to do more but only if someone commissioned me to write such a novel. I am too old now to be writing novels which I'm not sure someone will want to publish.
Prepared by Agnieszka Maciejewska, Univesity of Warsaw, email@example.com
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