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Literature

Women of Myth – A Fascinating Guide to Diverse Characters

January 30, 2023

While retellings of ancient Greek myths from the point of view of less-well-known characters continue to be a popular segment of the literary landscape, a new book offers a helpful guide to the impressive multitude of female mythological characters from around the world. Women of Myth: From Deer Woman and Mami Wata to Amaterasu and Athena, Your Guide to the Amazing and Diverse Women from World Mythology by Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy, illustrated by Sara Richard, highlights the multifaceted women from mythology and folklore in a collection of stories profiling powerful goddesses, mighty queens, and legendary creatures.

Featuring 50 fascinating stories of powerful female figures from mythologies across the globe, the charming and informative book showcases heroines, deities, leaders, and mythical creatures, and explores these figures of myth who have shaped culture with the stories of their power, wisdom, compassion, and cunning.
Among the characters included are, of course, Athena who is mentioned in the book’s subtitle, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, battle strategy, crafts, artisans, and heroes; Atalanta, the Greek heroine who hunted the Calydonian Boar and joined the Argonauts; Sky-Woman, the first woman in Iroquois myth who fell through a hole in the sky and into our world; Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess; Clídna, Queen of the Banshees in Irish legend; La Llorona, the ghostly, wailing woman of Mexican folklore; and Medusa, the misunderstood “monster” of Greek mythology.
The co-authors, Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy, are the co-creators of the Ancient History Fangirl podcast. Williamson is also a poet, writer, storyteller, and freelance copywriter. According to her biography, she has always been obsessed with ancient history and mythology, and blends her love of both with her passion for writing and storytelling, making the stories she tells accessible for modern readers. She has published poetry in multiple journals online and in print, and has a chapbook out with Finishing Line Press.

Genn McMenemy, according to her biography, has been in love with mythology since before she could read. She and her brothers used to listen to their mother read myths and fairytales and dream about what life was like a long time ago. Now, McMenemy is a full-time award-winning freelance marketer, writer, researcher, and copywriter. Originally from the U.S., she now lives in the UK and spends all of her free time traveling, visiting historical sites, and researching her next writing projects. Women of Myth is her first book.

The book’s illustrator Sara Richard is an Eisner and Ringo Award–nominated artist from New Hampshire. As noted in her biography, her art is inspired by Art Nouveau, Art Deco, funerary imagery, and the natural world. Her online gallery can be found at: SaraRichard.com.

Women of Myth: From Deer Woman and Mami Wata to Amaterasu and Athena, Your Guide to the Amazing and Diverse Women from World Mythology by Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy, illustrated by Sara Richard, is available for preorder online and is due out on February 21, published by Simon & Schuster’s Adams Media imprint.

More information is available online: https://bit.ly/3JpKIC8.

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