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The Silence of the Girls  By  cover art

The Silence of the Girls

By: Pat Barker
Narrated by: Kristin Atherton,Michael Fox
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Publisher's summary

A Washington Post Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Economist, Financial Times

Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

Finalist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction

Here is the story of the Iliad as we’ve never heard it before: in the words of Briseis, Trojan queen and captive of Achilles. Given only a few words in Homer’s epic and largely erased by history, she is nonetheless a pivotal figure in the Trojan War. 

In this audiobook she comes fully to life: wry, watchful, forging connections among her fellow female prisoners even as she is caught between Greece’s two most powerful warriors. 

Her story pulls back the veil on the thousands of women who lived behind the scenes of the Greek army camp - concubines, nurses, prostitutes, the women who lay out the dead - as gods and mortals spar, and as a legendary war hurtles toward its inevitable conclusion. 

Brilliantly written, filled with moments of terror and beauty, The Silence of the Girls gives voice to an extraordinary woman - and makes an ancient story new again. 

©2018 Pat Barker (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Beautiful…It is as if Barker had found an artifact with an as yet undeciphered alphabet among the glittering grave treasures of Homer’s epic."—The New York Review of Books

"Almost Homeric in its brilliance... Refreshingly modern... Ms Barker [switches] nimbly between the daily drudgery of the camp and the horrors of conflict... Venerable scenes and mythic names magically become new... Domestic details are piercingly described, bringing the squalor of the camp to life... A masterful and moving novel."—The Economist

"Beautifully done."—Annalissa Quinn, NPR

Featured Article: Best Authors for Fans of Margaret Atwood


Iconic Canadian author Margaret Atwood is more than a beloved novelist, poet, and essayist. She’s also a feminist, environmental activist, and innovator. Atwood examines important themes across many genres, including nonfiction, poetry, dystopian fiction, science fiction, and retellings of mythology. If you've worked your way through all of her stellar audiobooks and don’t know where to go next, here are some listens by authors similar to Atwood for you to enjoy.

Editor's Pick

An intimate retelling of The Illiad
"Barker focuses on The Illiad as experienced by the captured women, and the perspective shift is a perfect opportunity for audio; Kristin Atherton and Michael Fox’s intimate narration mirrors and reinforces the severely personal nature of this book. As a whole,The Silence of the Girls creates an experience that brings you so much closer emotionally to a story that continues to have profound influence."
Michael D., Audible Editor