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A Memory of Wind

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  416 ratings  ·  74 reviews
The heroes are eager to sail to Troy for war, but the wind is still. To fill their sails and set out, they must sacrifice Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia--and how does a human girl become the wind? The starkness and psychological insight of Rachel Swirsky’s story earned it a place among the finalists for the 2010 Nebula Award. Rachel Swirsky's short fiction has app ...more
Kindle Edition, 55 pages
Published (first published November 2009)
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NEWSFLASH...Rachel Swirsky can scribe it like an opera and make your heart go ouch! I picked up this free download on after seeing a good review by one of my fellow goodreaders (thanks J.M.) and am one very happy (and weepy) camper because I did. Set right before the Trojan War, this short story is told in the first person and tells the story of the daughter of Agamemnon who is fated to be sacrificed to the goddess Artemis so that the goddess will provide the wind necessary for the ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways

Rating: 2* of five

The story of Iphigenia, sacrificed by her father to Aphrodite, so the fleet carrying the Greeks could leave port. She has a very modern sensibility, does this Iphigenia, demanding the right to be happy and marry someone she loves.

This is codswallop. I doubt anyone goes to their death happily, but demanding things no woman of the time was likely even to conceptualize because it wasn't part of the universe they knew? Hm.

Oh, and Achilles is straight.

Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

This is the sad tale of Iphigenia, the daughter of King Agamemnon. She is sacrificed by her father to the Goddess Artemis in order to create wind so that they (the Greeks) might sail to Troy - all to avenge the “kidnap” of the unhappily married Helen of Troy (or rather her elopement with Paris - the prince of Troy).

What is so special about “A Memory of Wind” is that unlike other stories around this particular Myth, in this telling Iphigenia is not marg
Tom Hansen
Book Review: “A Memory of Wind” by Rachel Swirsky

Short Stories, they say they are a dead medium, but I find them fascinating. Some days I don’t want to sit down and start a new novel, especially since most of the books I like to read are trilogies at minimum.

This story is about a girl named Iphigenia, set in the time of the war of Troy. She becomes the wind, and this story gives us background into how she becomes the wind.

It was a nice story. It has a lot of dream-like qualities to it. Her memor
Mike Ehlers
My first exposure to Swirsky (read it at ), and all I can say is she can write. The story is a retelling of the sacrifice of Iphigenia during the Trojan War to bring wind to the fleet, and the basic plot follows the more tragic versions. I enjoy retellings of these myths, even the ones that are too tragic for my tastes. But the author's style bumps it up a notch for me. I won't hesitate to read any of her short stories I come across.
A beautifully tragic short story that tells the tale of Iphigenia the daughter of Agamemnon as she's about to be sacrificed to Artemis to raise a wind to sail the fleet to Troy.

This is my first exposure to Swirsky and the quality of writing definitely means I'll be looking for other things she's written. I highly recommend this to everybody.
My first audio book. I didn't think I would enjoy a book in audio but I was wrong. This was a fascinating and tragic story, and I liked the way it was narrated, almost matter-of-factly, yet with some emotion, subdued but present.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When I saw a review of this book, and found out I could download it free from (here), I was intrigued. I love stories about Greek myth -- actually, retellings of any myth -- and especially those which bring back the lost voices of women of these stories. So I downloaded it right away. It's a short story, really, so it doesn't take very long to read, and it drew me in from the first paragraphs: the way she describes Iphigenia going toward the sacrifice, losing everything she had before, i ...more
Nov 19, 2014 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Deborah
Shelves: e-books, novellas
You May read online at
I've been thinking of Helen of Troy and Cassandra all morning and then - completely by accident - stumbled upon this little story. Synchronicity be damned. In any case, A Memory of Wind is a poetic and haunting retelling of a famous myth from a perspective of a character of whom the original tells us little more than her name. Rachel Swirky's manages to breathe life into that name, make it memorable and even make us (readers) hope against hope for a different, happier ending.

I wonder if there is
Another short story.

It's been a long time since I've read the myths that this story is based on, so I think I'm missing a lot of depth here. That being said I faintly remember my feelings of frustration that the girls in these stories only ever have bad things happen to them, and they never seemed to DO anything. As an adult I know that it was a reflection of the culture they came from, but at the time it left a bad taste in my mouth (actually it still does). I think this story went a sm
Beautifully written rendering of the story of Agamenon's sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia so that his ships could sail to Troy. It is haunting and heartbreaking and powerful, and true to the original myth. It's available for free on Tor's website, or as a free ebook download; I highly recommend it.
Visceral, heart-rending, and excellent. This 30-page FREE download from is well worth your time, especially if you love Greek mythology or are a fan of speculative fiction. Swirsky's writing is nigh perfect here.

Five out of five stars. Highly recommended.
Sara J.
“I used to learn things, but now I forget them. I think I liked learning things. I need you to learn things for me now. Learn how to love someone, and how to survive a tragedy. Learn how to swing a sword, and how to convince an opponent when you have no argument but justice. Learn how to polish your armor until you become a glowing golden man, and then learn to be a flame that fuels itself. Learn to be your own wind. Will you? Will you please?”

I felt my tears falling into Orestes’s hair. He hugg
A Memory of Wind is a short story/novella that tells the story of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon, who was sacrificed to Artemis in order to have wind to power the war ships to Troy. Swirsky tells a beautiful tale of a girl who was betrayed by her father for the sake of a war caused by her aunt's actions. The descriptions really brought Iphigenia's world to life. The relationships in the book were realistic and heartbreaking, especially the bond between Iphigenia and her toddler brother Ore ...more
I was attracted to this story over the summer, not so much because of the content, but because of the haunting cover. A girl with haunting eyes, a slash in her neck, and her body becoming one with the wind.
The story is about Iphigenia, the eldest daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Helen and Paris have gone to Troy and Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Odysseus have their thousand ships waiting in the harbor, only deterred by the lack of wind. The priest of Artemis tells them that the goddess is angr
J. Ewbank
This is a fairly quick read. It is about a heroine who has to face something that most of us never dream about. It is outside my experience but it is a decent read. The past is not known to us except through books and this was definitely something we do not do today in our country.\

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"

(view spoiler)

Beautifully and poetically written, as usual. The characters come alive, inexplicably drawn toward their hearts' fears and desire.
Debra Slonek
Based on Greek mythology, this short story introduces us to Iphigenia, a young girl, who was deceived, betrayed and sacrificed by her father. Her emotions and feelings were described in a hauntingly, beautiful way. She became a memory of wind.
Robin Edman
This is really beautifully written, the story of Iphigenia as she describes becoming the wind for which her father sacrificed her.
I really am a sucker for well written stories built on myths. Found the writing haunting and read the novella in one sitting. Did find it occasionally a bit disjointed, and it sometimes was a bit off-putting how much repetition there was.

Overall, however, I very much enjoyed. It's refreshing to see a story told from the view of Iphigenia, whose death facilitates a war and later is the impetus for multiple murders. In those stories you learn nothing more about her than the fact of her death, thi
This is more of a short story than a book. I had trouble getting into when I first started to read it...just had trouble figuring out who was who, and what was going on. The second time I tried it, I read it all quickly and found that it was a more interesting premise than I originally gave it credit for. It's an historical period piece; a behind the scenes look at something very important regarding this battle, but glossed over in most accounts. I'd love to hear from others who have read it.
Muhammad Hosain Abdollahi Sabet
هلن پاشده با پاریس رفته، در نتیجه یونانی‌ها ظاهراً غیرتی شده. آگاممنون هم که از خداشه، از طرف داداشش و ادیسه هم حمایت می‌شه، سریع ارتششو حاضر می‌کنه که بریزن سر تروا. مشکل اینه که جناب آرتمیس به دلیلی که ما اصلاً نمی‌فهمیم، با آگاممنون قهره و نمی‌ذاره باد بیاد. شرط هم گذاشته که آگاممنون اگه باد می‌خواد بیاد دخترشو قربانی کنه.
داستان روایت خود دختر آگاممنونه از این شرط و اجراش

صبر می‌کنیم ترجمه‌ش منتشر شه، بعد نظر و نمره بدیم
Heather Pagano
Poetic retelling of Iphigenia at Aulis. The vivid sensory detail fades as the novella progresses, but that may be less an inability to sustain, and more intentional depiction of flesh and blood girl dissolving into spirit wind. Swirsky circles back again and again to two key familial moments in Iphigenia's life, fleshing out the memories a little at a time to emotionally coincide with the story's climax.
H.I. Al-Muhairi
Aug 23, 2011 H.I. Al-Muhairi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dramatic works
How can anybody not love this?

It's strange to see the myth of Troy and The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships from the eyes of a character I've never heard of.

I don't know how to describe something as tragic and dramatically beautiful as this. You can read the story online at
Coral Rose
This was excellent. I think it would have been even more excellent if her editor had not allowed her to use the word "chary" three different times to describe eyes. Cautious or wary would have done just as well, and would have convinced me that "chary" was not just a vocabulary fluke that you were determined to use in a sentence by the end of the day.
I have always enjoyed this part of Greek myth, and Clytemnestra was one of my favorite characters. The Humanities course I attended claimed that Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon because he had her daughter killed, but Iphigenia was never heard from in my textbook. Reading this first-person memory was haunting. A must read for all myth fans.
This is actually a 4.5 for me, all things considered.

This was such a poignant, tragic story. There is an art to the author's sentences. The dialogue is rather modern, but to me, it only added to the tragic made it feel much more real. I got a Lovely Bones feeling from this, but it was enjoyable of its on merits.
Almost, but not quite. A story from the perspective of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon sacrificed during the Trojan War to provide wind for the sails of the famous thousand ships. A great idea for a story, but I think the author took it to extremes, and maybe could have said more with saying less.
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Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and is a graduate of Clarion West. Her work has been short-listed for the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Sturgeon Award, and placed second in 2010's Million Writers Award. In addition to numerous publications in magazines and anthologies, Swirsky is the author of three short stories published as e-books, "Eros, Philia, Agape," "The Memory of Wi ...more
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