Following her bestselling, critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker continues her extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest myths.
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
The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors – all they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind has vanished, the seas becalmed by vengeful gods, and so the warriors remain in limbo – camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, kept company by the women they stole from it.
The women of Troy.
Helen – poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace – and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.
Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.
Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.
Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.
And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.
Masterful and enduringly resonant, ambitious and intimate, The Women of Troy continues Pat Barker’s extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest classical myths, following on from the critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls.