Marina Warner

Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols and fairytales.

“My critical and historical books and essays explore different figures in myth and fairy tale, such as the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc; more recently I have concentrated on fairy tales, including the Arabian Nights. I also write novels and short stories, often drawing on mythic or other imaginary predecessors to translate them into contemporary significance – to re-vision them.

Stories come from the past but speak to the present, and I have found that I need to write stories as well as deconstruct them and place them in historical contexts, because I myself love reading works of imagination, and I would like to join the conversation with admired predecessors, who range from Apuleius to Virginia Woolf, Italo Calvino, and Angela Carter.”

Recent Diary Entries

The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture, 7 October 2022


Marina is giving the Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture in New York on 7 October 2022, titled – Strangers in a Strange Land: Displacement, Sanctuary, and the Traveling Tale. Find out more and book here. Marina will return to Said’s ideas about estrangemen …


Flightiness in LRB


Review of Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics and Other Airborne Females by Serinity Young Marina’s review of Serinity Young’s book appeared on 30 August 2018 in the London Review of Books, Vol. 40, No. 16. The article can be found here


The Heroine’s Descent


Talk at the National Theatre, 14th December 2018 ‘All writing negotiates with the dead’, Margaret Atwood once remarked. Many heroes have gone down into the jaws of hell and brought back knowledge of the underworld – it’s almost a requirement: Odysseus, …


Latest Publications