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House of Names

by Colm Tóibín

From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Tóibín comes a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra – spectacularly audacious, violent, vengeful, lustful, and instantly compelling – and her children.

I HAVE BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH THE SMELL OF DEATH.

Judged, despised, cursed by gods she has long since lost faith in, the murderess Clytemnestra tells of the deception of Agamemnon, how he sacrificed her eldest daughter – her beloved Iphigenia – to the Trojan campaign; how Clytemnestra used what power she had, seducing the prisoner Aegisthus, turning the government against its lord; plotting the many long years until her beacon fires announce the king’s return…

Electra, daughter of a murdered father, loyal subject of the rightful king, watches Clytemnestra and her lover with cold anger and slow-burning cunning. She watches, as they walk the gardens and corridors of the house of Atreus. She waits for the traitors to become complacent, to believe they are finally safe; she waits for her exiled brother, Orestes, for the boy to become a warrior, for fate to follow him home. She watches and she waits, until her spies announce her brother’s return…

About the Author

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona before returning to Ireland in 1978, where he worked as a journalist. His other novels are: The Heather Blazing; The Story of the Night; The Blackwater Lightship; The Master; Brooklyn; and Nora Webster. His short story collections are Mothers and Sons and The Empty Family. He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. He is currently Leonard Milberg Lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University.



About Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of seven other novels including Blackwater LightshipThe Master and The Testament of Mary, all three of which were nominated for the Booker Prize, with The Master also winning the IMPAC Award, and Brooklyn, which won the Costa Novel Award. He has also published two collections of stories and many works of non-fiction. He lives in Dublin.

Other books by Colm Tóibín



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