From the author of The Power, winner of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017
'A visceral retelling of the events surrounding the life of Jesus' Hilary Mantel, Guardian, Books of the Year
'He was a traitor, a rabble-leader, a rebel, a liar and a pretender to the throne. We have tried to forget him here.'
Now, a year after Yehoshuah's death, four people tell their stories. His mother flashes between grief and rage while trouble brews between her village and the occupying soldiers. Iehuda, who was once Yehoshuah's friend, recalls how he came to lose his faith and find a place among the Romans. Caiaphas, the High Priest at the great Temple in Jerusalem, tries to hold the peace between Rome and Judea. Bar-Avo, a rebel, strives to bring that peace tumbling down.
Viscerally powerful in its depictions of the realities of the period: massacres and riots, animal sacrifice and human betrayal, The Liars' Gospel finds echoes of the present in the past. It was a time of political power-play and brutal tyranny and occupation. Young men and women took to the streets to protest. Dictators put them down with iron force. Rumours spread from mouth to mouth. Rebels attacked the greatest Empire the world has ever known. The Empire gathered its forces to make those rebels pay.
And in the midst of all of that, one inconsequential preacher died. And either something miraculous happened, or someone lied.
A glittering style, a compulsive pleasure
Exciting, entertaining and enthralling read - this is story telling of the very highest order. It's certainly one of my books of the year.
The dark wit that characterised her previous novels, Disobedience and The Lessons, runs through this book as an undercurrent, but The Liars' Gospel shows the hand of a mature novelist, a daring and accomplished work on a broad canvas. She is as much at home describing the sorrow of a mother as the cut and thrust of theological debate, as convincing on the weariness of a man forced into moral compromise as the rush of blood in a teenage boy caught up in his first riot. She paints the sweep of history through the sharp pain of human love and loss, and it is a remarkable achievement.
Remarkable. Alderman is a supremely talented writer
A series of thoughtful, humane sketches that seek to earnestly put the meat of character on the bones of the bible... An evocative, secular exploration of the New Testaments' sprawling horizons
Witty, dark and compelling
Marvellously told and wonderfully done
Such intensity ... a big book about history and violence, you can feel the blood running off the page. It is also a very personal and human book
First piece I've read that puts you completely into the Jewish history. A fascinating new look
Gripping and visceral
What if the power to hurt were in women's hands? With a flick of their fingers, teenage girls find they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. Read an extract from Naomi Alderman's The Power, winner of the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction