In a London gay bar, a charismatic stranger accosts an editor still raw from his lover’s abandonment. The stranger insists he is the modern avatar of Pandarus, intent on getting his version of events published to country the unflattering portrait of him that Shakespeare has given to the world.
And so begins Michiel Heyns’ eighth novel, a modern retelling of the story of Troilus and Criseyde, set during the tenth year of the Trojan War, with both sides of the conflict exhausted and the supreme warrior Achilles sulking in his tent. This urbane and sparking rendition of the classical tale is interspersed with meetings between the editor and Pandarus, as the latter supplies instalments of his tale. I am Pandarus combines shrewd domestic comedy with high heroic tragedy in an original exploration of the nature of love, friendship, warfare and loss.