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Madeline Miller and The Song of Achilles Quotes - Fable Reading Guide

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles is one of the most reviewed and most book-clubbed books on Fable. “If you think about quintessential queer books that everyone should read at least once, ‘The Song of Achilles’ is at the top of that list,” says Matt Benfield, founder of the Big Queer Book Club on Fable.

"It’s one of those reads that you seriously can’t put down and crave knowing what happens next to your favorite characters."

We’ve created a special reading guide to Miller’s classic novel to prepare readers for this reading adventure.
Join the free Big Queer Book Club to read The Song of Achilles!

What is The Song of Achilles about?

Matt described the book: “It’s an absolutely beautiful tragedy about the ancient Greeks, namely Achilles and his best friend and lover, Patroclus. Your heart will yearn for these characters throughout the book.” A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame and the human heart, The Song of Achilles reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, and a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner.“Ever since I first heard the stories of the Trojan War, I have yearned to see Troy for myself, and this past spring, I was finally able to do so,” wrote Madeline Miller on her blog, sharing photos of her trip to the remains of the once great city.

"Even if all that was left was a hill, I would be thrilled to stand on it, looking out over the landscape that Hector himself might have seen. Luckily, there turned out to be quite a bit more than a hill, and I took copious photos of all of it."

Unforgettable quotes from The Song of Achilles

“Name one hero who was happy.”

“I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.”

“I feel like I could eat the world raw.”

“And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.”

“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”

“He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.”

“We reached for each other, and I thought of how many nights I had lain awake loving him in silence.”

How the Big Queer Book Club got started

“For the longest time, I’ve had this idea in my head that never seemed to leave - to start a Big Queer Book Club,” said Matt. “For people in the LGBTQ+ community, we sometimes don’t have the space available to us in the real world to connect with like-minded queer people. They just don’t exist for us most of the time. And throughout my time as a full-time content creator who focuses partly on sharing queer literature with my audience, I realized there was big potential to create this online space for queer people to discuss books written by LGBTQ+ authors and stories centered around LGBTQ+ characters.”He started the club on Fable, launching with “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” “Growing up in North Carolina, I didn’t have much access to queer books, or even when I did, I didn’t have anyone around me to connect with about them,” Matt continued. “If I can provide a space to just a couple of queer kids & adults, where they can share the latest queer books they’re reading or just connect over our shared experiences, then I’ve done something that I truly wish I had as a kid growing up in the south of the US,” he concluded.

"Queer books save lives. That's not an exaggeration." 

What will The Big Queer Book Club read next?

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I have a pages-long list on my notes of books I want to feature next,” says Matt. “The number of queer-focused books out there just keeps growing every day, and it’s tough to find time to read all of them!” “There is no shortage of selections for future reads, and all of them will be either written by queer authors and have queer characters and queer-focused storylines,” he concluded. 

"The world needs more queer stories and I’m here to share as many of them as possible!" 

Discover LGBTQ+ Literature on Fable

Every year, the American Library Association’s Rainbow Round Table honors books “for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience” with the Stonewall Book Awards.Independent scholar T. J. West highlighted how “Song of Achilles” explored the gay relationship at the heart of a famous myth. They wrote:

“For me, what really made this an emotionally wrenching (yet satisfying) experience is the way that Miller manages to capture the visceral and intense nature of same-sex desire between men. Even now, when queer representation is better than it has been in ages past, there is something uniquely powerful about reading a book that really seems to get it.” 

According to an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the digital publishing revolution has helped LGBTQ authors share more stories. Thanks to the publishing boom and authors like Miller, a new generation of LGBTQ readers can find themselves on the bookshelf.From brilliant social justice books to unforgettable thrillers to critically acclaimed poetry, LGBTQ authors have made a mark in every category of literature. You can discover more great books by LGBTQ authors on Fable!Read more about the importance of LGBTQ+ Literature here on Fable!

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