In the tradition of Zachary Mason’s bestselling first novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey – where he recast episodes from Homer’s masterpiece – Metamorphica now reimagines Ovid’s epic poem of endless transformation, Metamorphoses. Just as the Roman poet reinvigorated the Greek Classical legends 700 years after Homer, so Zachary Mason now gives us a radical and exciting renovation of those myths, 2,000 years after Ovid.
It retells the great stories of Narcissus, Orpheus, Persephone, Icarus, Midas, Medea and Actaeon, and strings them together like the stars in constellations – with even Ovid himself entering the narrative. It’s as though the ancient mythologies had been rewritten by Borges or Calvino – or artificial intelligence – and brought glimmering back into our world. Metamorphica re-engages with the elemental power of the ancient shape-changing gods by keeping their essences while rewriting their stories. It is this extraordinary narrative approach which is so thrilling; we watch as the author extracts more and more out of the original legend – adding infinite perspectives to narratives we thought we knew. Mason understands that the great myths are parables – always in flux, always relevant – always throwing shards of light from the morning of the world.