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Elizabeth Cook's mesmerising poetic voice weaves the interlocking stories of Achilles and the central figures of his legend into a many-layered exploration of achievement and loss, of choice and inescapable destiny. Born of the sea-nymph Thetis by the mortal King Peleus, hidden as a girl on Skiros until Odysseus discovers him, Achilles becomes the Greeks' greatest warrior at Troy. Into his story come others - among them Hector, Helen, Penthiseleia the Amazon Queen and the centaur Chiron; and finally John Keats, whose writings form the basis of a meditation on identity and shared experience. An unforgettable and deeply moving work of fiction, Achilles also affirms of the story's enduring power to reach across centuries and cultures to the core of our imagination.


'Elizabeth Cook's Achilles is a remarkable renewal of the tales of the ancient hero... A prose poem with the sensuous commitment of Christopher Logue, it also has something of the intellectuality, and indeed the layered allusiveness, of Thomas Mann'. Michael Silk, Times Literary Supplement 'Cook retells Achilles's story, making the reader feel that it exists in a present tense. She is not interested in polite distance: she gets close to the gods, makes them seem real - a feat in itself. Her writing is charged: every moment matters, each word counts, as if time were running out' The Observer

Author description

Elizabeth Cook was born in Gibraltar in 1956 and educated in England. She lives in east London. Elizabeth Cook is a writer of poetry and short stories, and has also written and presented programmes for radio and television. She is well known for her studies in Renaissance literature, and is the editor of the works of John Keats.

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9780413771391
  • : Methuen Publishing Ltd
  • : methuen
  • : February 2002
  • : 197mm X 130mm X 10mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 823.92
  • : F