PAT BARK ER

Harper's Bazaar (UK) - - Contributors -

In her new novel, The Si­lence of the Girls, the Booker Prize-win­ning writer retells the story of Bri­seis, the voice­less Trojan slave woman who fea­tures in the open­ing of Homer’s The Iliad (page 167). The au­thor was a teacher un­til she en­rolled on a short-story course taught by An­gela Carter, who en­cour­aged her to pur­sue a lit­er­ary ca­reer. Si­lence is Barker’s 15th novel.

True beauty is... ‘the abil­ity to for­get your­self in a to­tal fo­cus on the other per­son. Women who can do this re­main ra­di­ant into ex­treme old age.’

A song lyric that in­spires you ‘On a field at dawn sur­rounded by horses, those fi­nal “hal­lelu­jahs” [by Leonard Co­hen] make you feel con­nected to ev­ery other liv­ing thing…’

An evoca­tive scent

‘Hot, dusty net­tles im­me­di­ately af­ter a rain shower.’

The most beau­ti­ful thing you own ‘My ginger cat, Hobbes – though I think he might take a dif­fer­ent view on own­er­ship.’

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