There was a woman at the heart of the Trojan war whose voice has been silent - till now.
Briseis was a queen until her city was destroyed. Now she is slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Trapped in a world defined by men, can she survive to become the author of her own story?
Discover the greatest Greek myth of all - retold by the witness history forgot.
'Make[s] 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
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' Independent
'Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human' Herald
'You go to her for plain truths, a driving storyline and a clear eye, steadily facing the history of our world' Guardian
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
A stunning return to form
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
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
An assured triumph
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
She gives a voice to the voiceless...The Silence of the Girls is a book that will be read in generations to come
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
Giving voice to the voiceless, this is a gripping feat of imagination that succeeds in being relevant today
The most important novel based on The Iliad so far this century
In The Silence of the Girls, Booker prize-winning author Pat Barker gives voice to the voiceless characters of The Iliad
Pat Barker brings a child’s gas mask, a jar of water from a wishing well and a notebook to the Penguin Studio to talk about her latest book Noonday.