I am Pandarus by Michiel Heyns
02 Feb 2017
I am Pandarus is a retelling, from a modern perspective, of the story of Troilus and Criseyde, as previously told by Chaucer and Shakespeare. The narrator in Michiel Heyns’ lively iteration is the go-between, Pandarus. But the novel opens in a gay bar in present-day London when an editor at a publishing house, recently abandoned by his lover, is accosted by a charismatic stranger.
The stranger turns out to be the modern avatar of Pandarus, intent on getting his version of events published; countering the unflattering portrait of him that Shakespeare has given to the world.
The main body of the novel is Pandarus’ retelling of the story of Troilus and Criseyde from his own very particular point of view.
This central narrative is interspersed with periodic meetings of the editor with Pandarus, as the latter supplies instalments of his tale. The result is an urbane and sparkling rendition of a classical tale, in a style which old and new fans of award-winning Michiel Heyns will love.
About the author
Michiel Heyns is the author of seven previous novels: The Children’s Day, The Reluctant Passenger, The Typewriter’s Tale, Bodies Politic, the multi-award winning Lost Ground (including the Sunday Times Literary Award in 2012) and most recently, Invisible Furies and A Sportful Malice, which won the Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Fiction in 2015. He is also an award-winning translator. He was previously professor of English at the University of Stellenbosch. Michiel Heyns lives in Somerset West.