The Silence of the Girls (Paperback)Pat Barker (author)
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Pat Barker’s electrifying revision of The Iliad reframes the story through the voiceless women of war. A startlingly vivid novel with a powerful message about who tells stories and why it matters.
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2018
From the Booker Prize-winning author of Regeneration and one of our greatest contemporary writers on war comes a reimagining of the most famous conflict in literature - the legendary Trojan War.
When her city falls to the Greeks, Briseis's old life is shattered. She is transformed from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to the god-like warrior Achilles as a prize of war. And she's not alone: on the same day, and on many others in the course of a long and bitter war, innumerable women have been wrested from their homes and flung to the fighters.
Wrestling the epic drama of the Trojan War away from its usual male-centric gaze, The Silence of the Girls seeks out the other story, the women’s story, charting the journey of a sometime-queen across the chaos of history, seeking freedom and the right to be author of her own story.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
‘This is an important, powerful, memorable book that invites us to look differently not only at The Iliad but at our own ways of telling stories about the past and the present, and at how anger and hatred play out in our societies.’ - Emily Wilson, The Guardian
'When it comes to subverting myths of military glamour, The Silence of the Girls is an assured triump.' - The Sunday Times
'Reading this gruesome, gripping novel feels like you're being let in on The Illiad's secret history... Barker serves the Greek with a mutinous glint in her eye.' - The Observer
‘In The Silence of the Girls, she now gives a voice to the voiceless…It is not generally known that the omission of Pat Barker’s Regeneration from the 1991 Booker shortlist by the all-male panel of judges was the trigger for the foundation of the Orange (now Women’s) Prize. Barker’s omission from this year’s Booker longlist is a decision equally lamentable, for The Silence of the Girls is a book that will be read in generations to come.' - Amanda Craig, The Daily Telegraph
‘An impressive feat of literary revisionism that should be on the Man Booker longlist… this is a story about the very real cost of wars waged by men...in seeing a legend differently, Barker also makes us re-think history.’ - Independent
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.' – The Independent
'Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human.' – The Herald
'You go to her for plain truths, a driving storyline and a clear eye, steadily facing the history of our world.' – The Guardian
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