Icy Feminist Retelling of the Pygmalion Myth

Galatea is an icy and feminist retelling of the story of Galatea and Pygmalion. The story is told from the perspective of the statue after having come to life.

This is my first time really spent with the myth of Pygmalion, but I enjoyed it enough to have piqued my interest in investigating the myth in more detail. I'll have to compare it with the other versions, but this one set a high bar.

Madeline Miller is known for her creative perspectives on classic greek mythology and this one does not disappoint. I may be biased since I really liked both of her . By using Galatea's perspective, Miller questions where a statue would actually fit (or not) in society and what her life would really be like.

I like the feminist undertones to the cautionary tale of what happens to men who want their women docile and pure. Galatea's life is a harrowing visualization of her objectification and lack of personal autonomy which feels incredibly timely. By the end of the story, one can't help but cheer for Galatea as she makes a desperate sacrifice to take back her autonomy.

Ultimately, my only critique is that I did not get more. I would have relished an entire novel or novella on this story, but I guess I'll have to settle for the short story. Although I was fully aware of how short the story was, I remained dumbfounded when I reached the end. "That's all there is?" I sat there thinking. I longed for more depth to the story and more time to spend with Galatea.

Overall I recommend this one if you like the myth or if you're a fan of Miller's other works. It'll be sitting in my guest room for anyone who wants to kill some time and get in a short but enjoyable read.


Greek Mythology
Historical Fiction
Short Stories