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The Silence of the Girls
Cover of The Silence of the Girls
The Silence of the Girls
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
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'A very good, very raw rendition of the Trojan war from the point of view of the women' Kate Atkinson

There was a woman at the heart of the Trojan war whose voice has been silent - till now.

Briseis was a queen until her city was destroyed. Now she is slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Trapped in a world defined by men, can she survive to become the author of her own story?

Discover the greatest Greek myth of all - retold by the witness history forgot.

'Make[s] you reflect on the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, the women throughout history who have been told by men to forget their trauma... You are in the hands of a writer at the height of her powers' Evening Standard


Praise for Pat Barker:

'Barker delves unflinchingly into the enduring mysteries of human motivation' Sunday Telegraph

'She is not only a fine chronicler of war but of human nature' Independent

'Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human' Herald

'You go to her for plain truths, a driving storyline and a clear eye, steadily facing the history of our world' Guardian

'A very good, very raw rendition of the Trojan war from the point of view of the women' Kate Atkinson

There was a woman at the heart of the Trojan war whose voice has been silent - till now.

Briseis was a queen until her city was destroyed. Now she is slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Trapped in a world defined by men, can she survive to become the author of her own story?

Discover the greatest Greek myth of all - retold by the witness history forgot.

'Make[s] you reflect on the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, the women throughout history who have been told by men to forget their trauma... You are in the hands of a writer at the height of her powers' Evening Standard


Praise for Pat Barker:

'Barker delves unflinchingly into the enduring mysteries of human motivation' Sunday Telegraph

'She is not only a fine chronicler of war but of human nature' Independent

'Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human' Herald

'You go to her for plain truths, a driving storyline and a clear eye, steadily facing the history of our world' Guardian

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About the Author-
  • Pat Barker was born in Yorkshire and began her literary career in her forties, when she took a short writing course taught by Angela Carter. Encouraged by Carter to continue writing and exploring the lives of working class women, she sent her fiction out to publishers. Thirty-five years later, she has published fifteen novels, including her masterful Regeneration Trilogy, been made a CBE for services to literature, and won awards including the Guardian Fiction Prize and the UK's highest literary honour, the Booker Prize. She lives in Durham and her latest novel is The Silence of the Girls.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 9, 2018
    Barker, author of the Booker-winning The Ghost Road, speculates about the fate of the women taken captive during the Trojan War, as related in Homer’s Iliad. Briseis, queen of the small country of Lyrnessus, was captured by the Greek forces and awarded to Achilles, fated to serve him as slave and concubine. Through her eyes readers see the horror of war: the sea of blood and corpses, the looting, and the drunken aftermath of battle. When Agamemnon demands that Briseis be handed over to him, Achilles reacts with rage and refuses to fight, and when his foster brother and lover Patrocles is killed, having gone into battle in Achilles’s stead, Briseis becomes the unwitting catalyst of a turning point in the war. In Barker’s hands, the conflict takes on a new dimension, with revisionist portraits of Achilles (“we called him the butcher”) and Patroclus (he had “taken his mother’s place” in Achilles’s heart). Despite its strong narrative line and transportive scenes of ancient life, however, this novel lacks the lyrical cadences and magical intensity of Madeline Miller’s Circe, another recent revising of Greek mythology. The use of British contemporary slang in the dialogue is jarring, and detracts from the story’s intensity. Yet this remains a suspenseful and moving illumination of women’s fates in wartime.

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    Penguin Books Ltd
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The Silence of the Girls
The Silence of the Girls
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Pat Barker
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