Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Category: Pericles and Aspasia

My novel Pericles and Aspasia — reviewed!

The first review of my novel, Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece, from Book Life — an Editor’s Pick

The fiction debut of Korshak, a professor at Adelphi University, brings vital life to the golden age of Athens, in a story rich with character, romance, striking historical detail, and spirited public debate on topics foundational to our civilization. The novel centers, as the title suggests, on Pericles, the Athenian statesman and orator known for his democratic values and championing of learning, and his Aspasia, the courtesan whom Pericles will risk his position and reputation to love. “Look at the company he keeps, they’ll say of you,” the great sculptor Phidias says to Pericles, “whores, philosophers and sculptors.”

But Korshak makes clear, in memorable scenes, that this supportive partnership didn’t just bring them comfort, happiness, and a child: it shaped history.Epic-length as well as the kick-off to a longer series, Pericles and Aspasia offers rousing speeches, naval battles, passionate embraces, rebellion, and political intrigue as Pericles strives to hold together the allied cities of the Athenian League. But Korshak sets her novel apart through its lively evocation of the civic life, art, culture, and gossip that make cities great. The pages pulse with talk that’s alternately philosophical, lofty, witty, and dishy. Early on, flirting with Aspasia, Pericles ruminates on how a recent comic play called him “our cucumber-headed Zeus.” Much later, he’ll ask “So, Aspasia, since you’ve read Antigone, do you think Sophocles means the autocratic Creon to be me?”

This immersion in Athenian life will thrill readers fascinated with the grain of lives far removed from our own—but still concerned with similar pressing issues of justice and governance. Historic notables (Euripides, Herodotus, Thucydides, Hippodamus) never make mere cameos: they inveigh, debate, even—especially in the case of that ol’ gadfly Socrates—joke. “I could prove you’re more expert, but by winning the argument, I’d lose it,” he says, drawing a clear line from 5th century B.C. to Shakespeare’s clowns to Groucho Marx.

Takeaway: A stellar, epic-length evocation of the golden age of Athens, rich with historical insight.

Great for fans of: Christian Meier’s Athens: A Portrait of the City in its Golden Age, Mary Renault.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, and on local online booksellers worldwide.

Cape Sounion Athens as Aspasia Might Have Seen It

Cape Sounion Athens as Aspasia Might Have Seen It

 

 

 

Pericles and Aspasia Cover

My New Novel: Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece

Here’s a video of Pericles and Aspasia, also on YouTube

I thank my publisher, Rushmore Press, for this video. 

To all who love archaeology, Greek theater, classical architecture, Greek philosophy, the ancient world, and historical novels.

My novel, Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece, has just been published.  In this book, Pericles, the visionary of democracy, and the influential courtesan Aspasia find love against the odds, their story bringing to life the arts, history and politics of a brilliant classical world.

I’d love it if you’d take a look at it on AmazonBarnes & NobleBooktopia, and on local online booksellers worldwide.

Here’s the cover:

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