The Trojan War: we all know the stories of the valiant and tortured men of The Iliad, but only remember the women as weeping at home, begging their men not to go to war, being the ones causing all the trouble, or being interfering goddesses. But Pat Barker has imagined the Trojan War from a woman’s point of view: Briseis, enslaved when a Trojan town was sacked, given to Achilles as a trophy, seized by Agamemnon, and realising that she is no longer a person, she is a thing.
An extraordinary debut novel that explores statutory rape from the point of view of a young girl at the time of the offense, and then through the next almost 20 years to the #MeToo movement. The 15-year-old girl, Vanessa Wye, remains loyal to her teacher and abuser, Jacob Strane, but her unreliable narrative is a heart-breaking read.
What a gift, to be able to write something that jumps from razor-sharp wittiness to soul-stirring in the same breath. This was my reading experience of Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu. It amused me endlessly, with laugh-out-loud prose and its cutting commentary on Asian stereotypes in America and at the same time I was devastated by the world that the Yu sketched – one of poverty, limitations and racism.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous life and the story behind her seven husbands. The starlet could have chosen anyone in the world to talk to but contacts unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant who is more surprised than anyone else.