Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Robert Graves’s bold and presciently feminist novel about the life of Nausicaa, the young woman he believed authored the Odyssey

Homer’s Daughter is Robert Graves’ novel of the young Nausicaa, a character in the Odyssey, who Graves believed was its true author (not the blind and bearded Homer, whose Iliad was composed at least 150 years before.... ). That Homer did not write the Odyssey continues to be a bold historical and literary claim. Add to it Graves’s protofeminist heroine, and a radical modern classic is born. 

In his Historical Note, Graves says the novel “re-creates, from internal and external evidence, the circumstances which induced Nausicaa to write the Odyssey, and suggests how, as an honorary Daughter of Homer, she managed to get it included in the official canon. . . . “Here is the story of a high-spirited and religious-minded Sicilian girl who saves her father’s throne from usurpation, herself from a distasteful marriage, and her two younger brothers from butchery by boldly making things happen, instead of sitting still and hoping for the best.”

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Robert Graves (1895–1985) was a preeminent English poet, novelist, critic, translator, and scholar of classical mythology. He served in World War I—an experience recounted in his 1929 autobiography, Good-bye to All That—and later became the first professor of English literature at the University of Cairo. Best remembered today for his acclaimed historical novels about the Roman emperor Claudius, I, Claudius and Claudius the God, his other books include The White Goddess, The Hebrew Myths, and Collected Poems.