Book Release: Daughters of the Labyrinth by Professor Ruth Padel, King’s College London

Book Release 1/7/21: Daughters of the Labyrinth by Ruth Padel, Professor of Poetry, King’s College London.

‘A daughter’s passionate quest for the truth about what happened to her parents in Crete during the German occupation and a sumptuous and sensuous evocation of Crete itself, its landscape and culture. ’ – Colm Tóibín

‘She winds us into coils within coils of a family’s dark history, horrific suffering and intimate sacrifice. She combines dramatic storytelling with moving reflectiveness, asking us to think again about whether it is better to remember or forget?’ – Marina Warner

Ruth Padel is an award-winning British poet with close links to Greece, science, classical music and wildlife conservation, especially in India. She has published twelve poetry collections shortlisted for all major UK prizes; a novel featuring wildlife conservation; eight books of non-fiction, on wild tiger conservation, mind and madness in Greek tragedy and the influence of Greek myth on rock music; and books on reading poetry drawn from her newspaper column The Sunday Poem. She is Professor of Poetry at King’s College London, and Fellow of both the Zoological Society of London and Royal Society of Literature. Her poems have appeared in, among others, the New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, The White Review, Times Literary Supplement, and The Guardian. Awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition, a British Council Darwin Now Award, and a Cholmondley Prize.

Ruth’s life-long relationship with Greece, especially Crete, began in 1970 as a PhD student at the British School of Archaeology in Athens.

Some poems in her first collection Summer Snow and collection on the Middle East, Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth, are set in Crete. The place, and its extraordinary story, are the inspiration for her new novel Daughters of the Labyrinth released on the 1st July 2021.

On Daughters of the Labyrinth: ‘Incredibly moving, capturing the vividness of the artist’s way of seeing the world with such lyricism and luminosity that reading it becomes profoundly sensory, like painting. Alive with the colours and fierce light of Crete, its landscape, wildlife, scents and sounds, the story is often painful in its revelations but also full of humanity and tenderness.’ – Claudia Tobin, curator of Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision, National Portrait Gallery

For more about Professor Ruth Padel, please see:,,

Blog posts on King’s English represent the views of the individual authors and neither those of the English Department, nor of King’s College London.

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