The Double Tongue

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The Double Tongue
First edition
Author William Golding
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Psychological/Historical novel
Publisher Faber & Faber
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 160
ISBN 0-571-17526-0
OCLC 60281814

The Double Tongue is a novel by William Golding. It was found in draft form after his death and published posthumously.

Golding's final novel tells the story of the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo at Delphi. Arieka prophesies in the shadowy years of the 1st century BC when the Romans were securing their grip on the tribes and cities of Greece. The plain, unloved daughter of a local grandee, she is rescued from the contempt and neglect of her family by her Delphic role. Her attitude to the god and her belief in him, ambiguous in expression and conviction, seem to move in parallel to the decline of the god himself - but as always in Golding's novels things are more complex than they appear.

Golding's portrayal of his female narrator—downtrodden, bullied, unadmired and yet independent—shows him embarking, at the end of his life, on a new imaginative realization, set nevertheless in the context of his lifelong fascination with Greece.