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Galatea

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  9,067 ratings  ·  958 reviews
In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husban ...more
Kindle Edition, 20 pages
Published July 4th 2013 by Bloomsbury Paperbacks
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Jennifer L. If your library has Hoopla (an app for downloading e-books, audiobooks, music and movies), it might be available through that. That's how I read it. …moreIf your library has Hoopla (an app for downloading e-books, audiobooks, music and movies), it might be available through that. That's how I read it. (less)
Haider Ali Nope. It is a different setting altogether. The Song of Achilles is done and dusted.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,067 ratings  ·  958 reviews


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Chelsea
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Haunting and brutal. Madeline Miller owns my mythology-loving ass.
Annet
Love this writer, got to know her in last years with her books, most well known Circe but also The Song of Achilles, love her take on 'classical/mythical' stories. This story is wonderful and intriguing as well, for my taste this story could have been a full fletch book, the storyline is very suitable. So, much too short but then again, I love short stories too. Same dark and brooding character as her other books. Loved it. Too short. Hoping for a new book by this writer soon. Recommended. More ...more
Michelle
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retelling
For a short story, “Galatea” packs a wallop! I love Greek myths but they leave out much of the mortal emotions, and this book made Galatea’s story come alive. Her character is complex, independent, smart, and even funny. I thoroughly enjoyed Madeline Miller's fleshing-out of the relationship between Pygmalion and Galatea. Sure, she may seem better off being human... but she didn't ask for it, and she isn’t as happy as he thought she would be. Miller explored the cracks in Pygmalion’s personality ...more
Jenna
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Image result for galatea
("Pygmalion and Galatea" by Laurent Pêcheux, 1784)

Galatea is a short stand-alone story and normally I wouldn't have bothered with it. However! This is a story by Madeline Miller we're talking about here, author of the brilliant novels Circe and The Song of Achilles. I will read anything and everything she writes. This might just be a short story but it too is brilliant. Galatea is a woman whose husband is a sculptor and who is sculpted by him into the perfect woman. Afterwards, a goddess brings
...more
Nat K
"Haven't you ever touched a statue?"

A short, troubling story of a woman sculpted of stone, who is treated with disdain & cruelty by her creator.

"Why cannot I find a maiden such as this for my wife? Why must such perfection by marble & not flesh?"

The moral of the tale, even if you think a woman has a heart of stone, don't assume this to be the case. She could surprise you. And don't think she won't have her revenge.

Shout out to Aqsa! Seeing this on Aqsa's "to read" list caught my eye (or I'd neve
...more
Jerecho
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very short story of Galatea and Pygmalion. And in this retelling Paphos is a girl...

I wish it was longer. Anyway, the author always is so good in words. ♥️♥️♥️
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Came across this one and was surprised to find a short story by Miller I hadn’t known about. I found the interpretation of Galatea’s story interesting, seeing how the transformation from statue to human might (or might not) fit into society. I didn’t entirely gather what was going on in the beginning with the visits from doctors etc, but it didn’t take long for the bizarre situation to feel like a “new normal”. I would’ve loved to see this as a full novel, but as a snippet of a retelling it prov ...more
Renata
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, horrifying, powerful

A story of such beauty and economy it left me breathless and stunned and yes, gratified in its conclusion. The power of her words to create a fully living woman was like the power of the sculptor to create the fully realized woman, Galatea. The goddess has gifted the author with the power of words, a power Madeline Miller uses to connect our world to the ancient world as if no time had passed at all.
JV (semi-hiatus)


This is definitely a sad retelling of Galatea's mythological tale. Carved and sculpted by Pygmalion, Galatea — a beautiful ivory statue — is brought to life by the goddess Aphrodite in light of the sculptor's prayer. In Miller's version, we see how Galatea is given a voice, independent to that of her abusive and overbearing husband. However, Pygmalion, as blind as he is, only sees her as an object of desire — someone that can be dominated and controlled. In order to save her daughter, she concoc
...more
Trish
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I never liked the story of Galatea. No, that isn't true, actually. I liked the story but not the guy in it.

You see, what kind of man creates the perfect woman out of marble, obsessed with purity and perfection because real-life women have shunted or betrayed him (according to his statement, we never meet them)?!
A weak man, that's who.
Pygmalion is a pig, let's face it. It's why he wanted to create the perfect, virginal, obedient thing for his own pleasure. The problem is that a goddess of all "p
...more
Tahera
A re-telling of the tale of Pygmalion and Galatea. While that tale has a happy ending, this one does not...it gives its own spin to the quote 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'. ...more
Victoria
This incredibly short little story tells the Pygmalion myth from the POV of the statue, Galatea. What happens when the sculptor realises that by making his fantasy flesh, he has made her human? She is independent. She has thoughts, feelings and idea of her own. What happens when he realises she has her own will? And what will he do when he realises that their child is equally independent? And what will Galatea do to save herself and her daughter?

Another wonderful retelling of classic Greek myth
...more
Aqsa
Only 20 pages?? Ok, I'm reading this right after The Song of Achilles! ...more
Dannii Elle
Madeline Miller provided an interesting take on the myth of Galatea, which involved an ivory statue of that name, depicting its creator's ideal female form. Galatea comes to life and is provided autonomy by the gods, and as her creator longs for the softness of her flesh, he dually desires her as prone and as mute as the statue she originated from.

I found this an interesting little read and, as with all of Miller's work, appreciated the feminist ideologies and insight to patriarchal society that
...more
warhawke
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Greek myth
Genre: Fiction (Mythology Retelling)
Type: Short Story
POV: First Person - Female
Rating:




There was once a sculptor in ancient Greece who was repulsed by the women of his town and decided he would make the woman of his dream. Blessed by a goddess, his masterpiece, Galatea came alive. But instead of a perfectly obedient wife, she had a mind of her own so he locked her away. With the love of her daughter in mind, she would do anything to grant them the freedom they deserved.

At night, he was rough
...more
Katie.dorny
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Okay I loved this.

Galatea is a statue made human; and what follows is a short novella of her life and her end.

The writing was beautiful and I didn’t expect to get sucked in for only 20 pages.

Now to fall down the rabbit hole of all her other books.
Jennifer
Galatea is a super short retelling featuring the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

Brief myth summary: Pygmalion was a sculptor who avoided and scorned all women based on his revulsion towards the local prostitutes. As such, he invested himself completely into creating the perfect woman out of ivory. He ended up falling deeply in love with this female form made of stone. After witnessing Pygmalion's devotion, Aphrodite: Goddess of Love gave life to the statue who was named Galatea. Pygmalion and Gal
...more
Elle
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-is-nice
I have been so hungry for more from Madeline Miller, the fantastic author of Circe and The Song of Achilles. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years for her next novel, but in the mean time I’ve been hunting for an ebook version of this short story, Galatea. If you have as well, I found it on Hoopla with my local library log-in.

The titular character is a figure from Greek mythology who was carved from ivory stone by Pygmalion, a sculptor from Cyprus. Galatea then comes to life and eve
...more
The Captain
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys!  I read circe in 2019 and really enjoyed it so I wanted to give this short story a try.  Luckily a local library had a copy.  For those who don't recognize the title, it is a Greek myth where a sculptor (and king), Pygmalion, falls in love with his statue of a beautiful woman and asks the gods to bring her to life.

The versions that I knew always professed that the sculptor and his transformed wife live happily ever after.  This short story is nothing like that.  The "origin
...more
Sofia
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Galatea - the stone woman

I think what is fixed in stone is not Galatea but the belief that a human being has a say over what other human beings are, over what they do and how they should look. THAT belief is what we and me particular as a woman, bang my head against all the time. The belief that tries to shape my life, either by trying to make me malleable to fit in the shape created for me by others or by the opposite reaction it creates in me of anger at such presumption.



Beautifully and cleve
...more
NReads
Jul 02, 2020 marked it as to-read
I will read everything by Madeline Miller
MissBecka Gee
Some of the language seemed out of place, but otherwise this was delightful.
Creative with a wonderful flow.
I got a copy of Circe recently and am now even more excited to dig into more of Ms. Miller's mind.
...more
Sara
Short but definitely not sweet story about what happens after the Greek myth Pygmalion.

For the most part I found this quite a powerful little story. The sculptor is arrogant, violent and controlling. He’d rather lock up his wife where no one can see her because of his jealousy, rather than let her live a life. Believing that because he made her, he therefore owns her. It’s almost a perfect rendition of domestic abuse, set a thousand years in the past, and demonstrates that women have suffered t
...more
Bren
“I felt him looking at me, admiring his work. He had not carved me like this, but he was imagining doing it. A beautiful statue, named The Supplicant.”― Madeline Miller, Galatea


My review:

I have always adored Mythology. So when I saw this short story, a reimagined version of Pygmalion and Galatea I knew I had to read it.

This story was quite different than the original and quite sad. Actually bitterly sad. Galatea is a sweet and strong woman who is miserable under the relentless control of her hu
...more
Xia Xia
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Galatea is a 20 pages short story from Madeline Miller, the writer of one of my favorite books The Song of Achilles.
I cannot help not compare Galatea and Circe. Both are great symbols of feminism, heroines born in an age of antiquity when men ruled the world. Against all odds both Circe and Galatea carved a path of their own, living by their own rules.
From a writing perspective Circe is a literary masterpiece in comparison to Galatea which is only "good". But I liked Galatea better than Circe.
...more
Lata
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read of Pygmalion and Galatea, I was taken in by the myth, and the idea of a statue coming to life, which my nine-year-old self thought was magical.
This story, which takes place years later, doesn’t sugar coat Galatea’s side of this things, which is horrible. Pyg (I’m going to call him that because it seems appropriate) is now a successful sculptor, and an accomplished abuser.
This story shows us how Galatea, the former statue, has suffered. Though this is a short story, it doesn
...more
Darce
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A disturbingly serious book about abuse and the desperation of a mother to save her daughter.

A beautiful marble statue, turned to flesh and bone by the gods, and then locked away in an asylum as she tries to run from her creator in an act to save her daughter.

They say that there is no love as strong as a mother's. And this beautifully wicked short story definitely shows that this is true.
...more
Kobi
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Madeline Miller is absolutely incredible. There is so much soul in her writing. She manages to evoke such emotion in less than 50 pages while others struggle to evoke any in hundreds of pages. This was so, so beautiful.
izzy
"Everyone looked at me, because I was the most beautiful woman in the town. I don’t say this to boast, because there is nothing in it to boast of. It was nothing I did myself."

Being the type of person I am, I decided to read this so I could say I've read all of Miller's back catalog. I am nothing if not thorough.

And it was good! Considerably darker than her past work, with more f-bombs and less purple prose. Examination of abuse, pedophilia/sexually abusive men and motherhood, through a somewha
...more
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28,026 followers
Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of ...more

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