PAT BARK ER
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.’