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Top 5 books about goddesses, selected by best-selling author Natalie Haynes

Greek myths, Athurian legend, graphic novels... goddesses play a pivotal role in them all

Marble statue of Artemis in black and white

Renaissance marble statue of Artemis. She is the Goddess of nature, the Moon, the hunt. Image: Shutterstock

Greek myths, Athurian legend, graphic novels… goddesses play a pivotal role in them all. Best-selling author and Radio 4 presenter Natalie Haynes chooses five of the best books that feature female deities.

Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill 

A delightful book of poems from, to, and about Greek goddesses, from Chaos to the Furies via Artemis, Aphrodite and more. Gill adores Greek myth, and has fun exploring some of its lesser-known stories. 

The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

One of the earliest poems to survive to us, with one of the best goddesses – Athene – playing a pivotal role in the tortured journey of Odysseus. Wilson’s translation is highly readable, and her introduction is brilliant.

Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Death is one of the immortals who populate the Sandman universe. She is wise and warm-hearted, and has the perfect goth aesthetic: mop of black hair, black eyeliner, silver ankh necklace. The big sister we all want. 

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Greenwitch by Susan Cooper

When Jane Drew returns to Cornwall she finds herself drawn to the power and sorrow of the Greenwitch. This book draws on Arthurian myth, and reminds us that love can be more powerful than the strongest magic. 

Gods and Monsters by Ana Sampson, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Ok, this is a bit cheeky because I wrote the foreword, but you can just flip straight past it and dive into this fantastic collection of poems about gods, goddesses and monsters from all over the world – Inuit, Aztec, Egyptian, Japanese, Norse. It is beautifully illustrated by Chris Riddell too. 

Divine Might book cover

Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes is out on 28 September (Picador, £20). You can buy some of these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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