The Silence of the Girls (Paperback)
  • The Silence of the Girls (Paperback)
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The Silence of the Girls (Paperback)

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Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 02/05/2019
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Waterstones Says

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
ISBN: 9780241983201
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘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

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Shortlist Readings

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Shortlist Readings

Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, SW1X 9DQ
Monday 3rd June 19:00

Waterstones and the Women's Prize Trust are delighted to present this year's Women's Prize for Fiction shortlisted authors readings event. Pat Barker, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Diana Evans, Tayari Jones and Madeline Miller will all give readings ahead of the winner announcement; and a reading will be given on behalf of Anna Burns.

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Waterstones Liverpool - Book Club

Waterstones Liverpool - Book Club

Liverpool
Tuesday 4th June 18:30 - 19:30

Join us in store on Thursday 6th June, 6:30pm-7:30pm to discuss The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. New faces welcome!

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Book Club - The Silence of the Girls

Book Club - The Silence of the Girls

Wakefield
Wednesday 5th June 17:00 - 18:00

Join us on Wednesday 5th June, from 5pm-6pm to talk about Pat Barker's electrifying new novel The Silence of the Girls.

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“Slave women, unsung heroes of Iliad...”

This is the story of Iliad without the glamorous battles between incredible men and their heroic actions. Instead it is the story of the women whom they captured and turned into slaves to serve them.

With her... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 91

“Anger and Wrath”

This new novel from Pat Barker will be advertised as presenting a new angle on the story of the Trojan War – an examination of Homer’s heroes from the point of view of their ‘prizes’, the captive women who became... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 20

“Phenomenal”

Gorgeous, emotional and thought-provoking re-telling of Greek myth. Although predominantly (former) Queen Briseis' story, many different women from Greek mythology are touched upon in this beautifully crafted... More

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