The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Meeting at Sylvia’s Wednesday October 16th 7.30 pm
“Pat Barker’s electrifying revision of The Iliad reframes the story through the voiceless women of war. A startlingly vivid novel with a powerful message about who tells stories and why it matters.
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019
Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2018
From the Booker Prize-winning author of Regeneration and one of our greatest contemporary writers on war comes a reimagining of the most famous conflict in literature – the legendary Trojan War.
When her city falls to the Greeks, Briseis’s old life is shattered. She is transformed from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to the god-like warrior Achilles as a prize of war. And she’s not alone: on the same day, and on many others in the course of a long and bitter war, innumerable women have been wrested from their homes and flung to the fighters.
Wrestling the epic drama of the Trojan War away from its usual male-centric gaze, The Silence of the Girls seeks out the other story, the women’s story, charting the journey of a sometime-queen across the chaos of history, seeking freedom and the right to be author of her own story.”
The book after that: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Meeting date – to be arranged
“Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit. ”