The 100 stories that shaped the world
“I rarely find someone, really anyone, who doesn’t know some part of this story – the idea of the lost man who can’t get home after the war… the woman at home with the suitors. Everyone can tell me some version of it, which is to say, it lives in them.” – Tess Taylor, poet, on Homer’s Odyssey
In April, BBC Culture polled experts around the world to nominate up to five fictional stories they felt had shaped mindsets or influenced history. We received answers from 108 authors, academics, journalists, critics and translators in 35 countries – their choices took in novels, poems, folk tales and dramas in 33 different languages, including Sumerian, K’iche and Ge’ez.