The Canongate Myth Series is a series of novellas published by the independent Scottish publisher Canongate Books, in which ancient myths from various cultures are reimagined and rewritten. The project was conceived in 1999 by Jamie Byng, owner of Canongate, and the first three titles in the series were published on 21 October 2005.[1] Though the initial novellas received mixed-to-positive reviews,[2][3][4] the project was heralded by many in the press as "bold" and "ambitious",[4][5][6] with the tabloid Metro calling it "one of the most ambitious acts of mass storytelling in recent years".[7]

The series is intended to have an international focus, with contributing authors that have included Russian writer Victor Pelevin and Israeli author David Grossman. Also, the first title in the series, Karen Armstrong's A Short History of Myth, was published the same day in 33 countries and 28 languages, in what The Washington Post called "the biggest simultaneous publication ever".[6] As of 2008, nine books have been published in the series, with Byng hoping to eventually publish 100.[7]

Three titles were published in the United Kingdom on 1 November 2007: Binu and the Great Wall by Su Tong, Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith, and Where Three Roads Meet by Salley Vickers. Installments in the series are also forthcoming from the authors A. S. Byatt,[1] Chinua Achebe and Natsuo Kirino.[8]

Michel Faber's contribution, The Fire Gospel, was published in 2008. 2009 saw the publication of Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugrešić and The Hurricane Party by Klas Östergren.

Orphans of Eldorado by Milton Hatoum and The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman were published in 2010.

List of titles

Title Author Mythological
Publication date
A Short History of Myth Karen Armstrong SerbiaUnited KingdomUnited States 21 October 2005
Brazil 19 October 2005
The Penelopiad Margaret Atwood Penelope, Odysseus SerbiaUnited KingdomUnited States 21 October 2005
Brazil 19 October 2005
Weight Jeanette Winterson Atlas, Heracles SerbiaUnited KingdomUnited States 21 October 2005
The Helmet of Horror Victor Pelevin
(trans. Andrew Bromfield)
Theseus, the Minotaur Russia 2005
United KingdomUnited States 2 March 2006
Serbia October 2006
Brazil 30 November 2006
Lion's Honey David Grossman
(trans. Stuart Schoffman)
Samson Israel 2005
United States 23 March 2006
United Kingdom 1 June 2006
Serbia October 2006
Brazil 4 December 2006
Dream Angus Alexander McCall Smith Aengus United States 12 September 2006
United Kingdom 5 October 2006
Serbia October 2006
Anna In w grobowcach świata
(Anna In in the Tombs of the World)
Olga Tokarczuk
(not translated to English)
Inanna Poland 2006
Girl Meets Boy Ali Smith Iphis United Kingdom 1 November 2007
United States 21 December 2007
Brazil 26 September 2008
Binu and the Great Wall Su Tong
(trans. Howard Goldblatt)
Meng Jiang Nü China 2006
Serbia October 2006
United Kingdom 1 November 2007
United States 18 February 2008
Where Three Roads Meet Salley Vickers Oedipus, Tiresias United Kingdom 1 November 2007
United States 10 August 2008
Baba Yaga Laid an Egg Dubravka Ugrešić Baba Yaga Serbia April 2008
United Kingdom May 2009
The Fire Gospel Michel Faber Prometheus United Kingdom November 2008
The Goddess Chronicle Natsuo Kirino
(trans. Rebecca Copeland)
Izanagi, Izanami United Kingdom 3 March 2013
Orphans of Eldorado Milton Hatoum Mythology of Amazonia Brazil January 2008
Serbia 2 July 2009
The Hurricane Party Klas Östergren Norse mythology 2009
The Good Man Jesus
and the Scoundrel Christ
Philip Pullman Christian mythology April 2010
Brazil 28 October 2010
Ragnarok: The End of the Gods A. S. Byatt Ragnarok United Kingdom September 2011
The Song of King Gesar Alai
(trans. Howard Goldblatt)
(trans. Sylvia Li-chun Lin)
Epic of King Gesar United Kingdom November 2013


  1. ^ a b "World's top writers recruited to rewrite ancient tales",, 21 October 2005.
  2. ^ "Weight", Retrieved on 29 June 2007.
  3. ^ "The Penelopiad", Retrieved on 29 June 2007.
  4. ^ a b Alexander, Caroline. "Myths Made Modern", The New York Times, 11 December 2005.
  5. ^ "'Free will is like falling off a roof'"[dead link], The Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2006.
  6. ^ a b Hand, Elizabeth. "The New Muses: A highly anticipated series of classic myths re-imagined by modern authors", The Washington Post, 25 December 2005.
  7. ^ a b Canongate Myth Series official site
  8. ^ / Arts & weekend / Books – Myth understood