Posts From Author: greek tragedy

Comedy = Tragedy + Time: A Chat With Natalie Haynes

You know that bit of clip art your computer used to throw up when you typed in drama? The two classical masks, one happy, one sad? That’s sort of like Natalie Haynes’s career. Not in a bad way, though. Thalia, the Muse of comedy, oversaw her first act — as a hugely successful stand-up (she was the first woman to be nominated for the prestigious Perrier Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe). Now it’s Melpomene’s turn, as the Muse of tragedy, to take over for Act II. The Furies (St. Martin’s Press, 2014), just published in the States, is a clever synthesis of Greek tragic tropes and modern crime fiction, set largely in a pupil referral unit in Edinburgh. (Read my review here.) Her earlier (nonfiction) book The Ancient Guide to Modern Life (Overlook Press, 2011), with its irreverent but perceptive rediscovery of contemporary culture through Greco-Roman eyes, bridged the gap. Natalie was kind enough to drop by the blog for a chat about Sophocles and Mickey Rourke, patricide at school, and the drunks of East Anglia. Charles Arrowsmith: Hi Natalie, thanks for your time. So The Furies is ostensibly a book about what might happen when you mix Greek tragedy with troubled […]
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Bad Moon Rising: Natalie Haynes’s The Furies

Policemen and doctors will tell you they know when it’s a full moon, because the A&E units fill up more quickly than on other nights of the month. Sometimes I would think the same was true of Rankeillor: there was a trigger of some kind — invisible to adults but perfectly tangible to the kids — which would make them all go nuts for a day or two each month; or week, if we were really unlucky. — Natalie Haynes, The Furies Natalie Haynes‘s exciting first novel, The Furies (St. Martin’s Press, 2014), is a five-act tragedy-thriller set in a pupil referral unit in Edinburgh. Alex Morris is a young theater director who has fled to Scotland following a mysterious personal tragedy, leaving behind directorial duties at the Royal Court in London and what could have been a brilliant career. Taking up an offer from her old drama teacher at university, Alex finds herself in the basement of “the Unit” on Rankeillor Street, where she conducts drama therapy classes with children who have been withdrawn from other schools because of their behavioral problems. She’s drawn to one class in particular, a group of five mismatched teenagers who overcome their initial distrust of […]
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