The greatest war story in literature, retold by our greatest living storyteller on war - in the voice of the forgotten woman who lived through it.
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, she sent her fiction out. Thirty-five years later, she has published sixteen novels, including her masterful Regeneration Trilogy, been made a CBE for services to literature, and won the UK's highest literary honour, the Booker Prize. Her last novel, The Silence of the Girls, began the story of Briseis, the forgotten woman at the heart of one of the most famous war epics ever told. It was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize, and won an Independent Bookshop Award 2019. The Women of Troy continues that story. Pat Barker lives in Durham.
A searing twist on The Iliad... Amid the recent slew of
rewritings of the great Greek myths and classics, Barker's stands
out for its forcefulness of purpose and earthy compassion...
Chilling, powerful, audacious * The Times *
A stunning return to form * Observer *
Angry, thoughtful, sad, deeply humane and compulsively readable, The Silence of the Girls shows that 36 years after her first novel was published, Barker is a writer at the peak of her powers * Irish Times *
Its magnificent final section can't help but make 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 *
An assured triumph * Sunday Times *
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 * Guardian *
She gives a voice to the voiceless...The Silence of the Girls is a book that will be read in generations to come * 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... Barker makes us re-think history * Independent *
Giving voice to the voiceless, this is a gripping feat of imagination that succeeds in being relevant today * Woman and Home *
The most important novel based on The Iliad so far this century * Edith Hall *
The magic of Barker's book is that the resonance of giving silenced women a voice at the centre of the story is just as relevant today * Grazia *