GCSE and A level pupils in Cranleigh Classics were entertained and enthralled by a visit from acclaimed author Emily Hauser on Thursday 22nd June.
Emily, a research fellow at Harvard and recent doctoral graduate from Yale, was in the UK to promote her latest novel, For the Winner. Emily gave a creative writing workshop for our Lower Sixth Classicists, giving our pupils an insight not only into myth but also into the creative process. Emily then delivered a fascinating and enjoyable talk for our GCSE pupils, showing them how myth has as much to tell us about humanity as it did three thousand years ago and how we too still have a role in shaping it today.
Emily’s first book, For the Most Beautiful, formed the jumping-off point for the Sixth Form workshop. Pupils explored their understanding of the myths of the Trojan war as a way into imagining creatively the things that went unwritten: how did Briseis really feel? Who could she have communicated these feelings with, and how? In the second talk, framed around On the Winner, Emily retold the famous myth of Jason and the Argonauts, again picking up on the stories left tantalisingly half-told: in this case the story of Atalanta, the only woman on the Argo.
Pupils left both events talking excitedly about what they had just heard, inspired, certainly, to investigate further themselves.