Word up ladies

In the Moment - - Good News -

It might be time to give the clas­sics a re-read – but in a way you’ve never done be­fore. They are cur­rently un­der­go­ing some­thing of a fem­i­nist revo­lu­tion, thanks to a new wave of fe­male au­thors.

The Si­lence of The Girls by ac­claimed author Pat Barker is a lib­er­at­ing retelling of one of the most fa­mous lit­er­ary texts of all time, The Iliad.

The orig­i­nal story is es­sen­tially a war over women, all of whom are por­trayed in pas­sive and dis­em­pow­ered roles. Barker, struck by how the voices of these women were “con­spic­u­ously si­lent”, gave the cap­tured queen Bri­seis a nar­ra­tive voice with an equal weight to Achilles in her ver­sion of the tale, which is al­ready caus­ing a stir in the lit­er­ary world.

The Iliad isn’t the only one of Homer’s works to get this treat­ment – Emily Wil­son’s trans­la­tion of The Odyssey (the rst by a woman) was pub­lished to great ac­claim last year, while Made­line Miller’s sim­i­larly-in­spired novel Circe, about the mytho­log­i­cal witch in The Odyssey, has been touted as a ‘must read’ for 2018, praised for its fem­i­nist slant on an age-old text. Hello, sum­mer read­ing list.

The Si­lence of The Girls by Pat Barker (Pen­guin Ran­dom House, £18.99) will be out in Septem­ber 2018. The Odyssey trans­lated by Emily Wil­son (Nor­ton, £30) and Circe by Made­line Miller (Blooms­bury, £16.99) are out now.

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