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The seething anger of the Iliad’s women

Pat Barker invites us to hear the untold story of women who have been bit-parts, cameos or sex objects in the Greek myths

By Chris Moss   March 2019
Briseis as depicted in a Greek ceramic painting © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

Briseis as depicted in a Greek ceramic painting © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

Classical myths bristle with war, murder, rape and slavery. Men perpetrate the abuses while other men write them down, conjuring powerful forces—gods, mainly—to justify them. Pat Barker’s novel, which draws on the Iliad and is told through the eyes of a young female victim, invites us to hear the untold story of women who have been bit-parts, cameos or sex objects.

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