Sequel to critically acclaimed bestseller The Silence of the Girls, an extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest classical myths from one of best writers of war fiction
Troy has fallen and the Greek victors are primed to return home, loaded with spoils. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails.
But the wind does not come. The gods are offended – the body of Priam lies desecrated, unburied – and so the victors remain in uneasy limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed. The coalition that held them together begins to fray, as old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester.
Largely unnoticed by her squabbling captors, erstwhile queen Briseis remains in the Greek encampment. She forges alliances where she can – with young, rebellious Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, with Calchus, the disgraced priest – and she begins to see the path to revenge...
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.
In a novel filled with names from legend, Briseis stands tall as a heroine: brave, smart and loyal. Barker's latest is a wonder. * Publisher's Weekly * The reimagining of mythological epics is certainly having a moment (think, Circe and Song of Achilles), but renowned British writer Pat Barker's The Women of Troy stands apart. Barker has already written about Briseis before, in the excellent The Silence of the Girls, and this continuation of the Trojan woman's story feels like another victory for every person who was silenced by history, their story stolen from them. * Refinery 29 * a stirring adventure set amid a misogynist dystopia -- Anthony Cummins * The Observer * Barker is at her best when she evokes Hecuba's grief on the shore, surrounded by a group of female slaves with the ruined city behind them... * TLS * As a novelist, Barker has always looked on the world with the combination of a cold eye and a sympathetic understanding. Her characterisation is sharp, her sympathy deep. She extends it even to the often brutal men. Her overall achievement is to have taken one of the great myths of European history, something that has permeated Western culture for 3,000 years, and made something new and immediate of it. * i * I'd still rather read Barker's take on the gruesome realities and costs of war - ancient or modern - than any other novelist out there. * The Daily Telegraph * Merciless, stripped of consoling beauty, impressively bleak. * The Guardian * This is a powerful page-turner, bringing ancient characters and stories into full colour. Skip Homer, and just enjoy this epic read * Daily Express * Briseis . . . returns again in this rich, readable sequel . . . Barker brings to life the mythical Trojan women. * New Statesman *