#GAReads | Epic win! Why women are lining up to reboot the classics
A Thousand Ships is one of a trio of recent novels by women that, to a greater or lesser degree, rewrite the Homeric epics from the point of view of female characters. Madeline Miller’s beguiling Circe has the witch from the Odyssey at its centre, while Pat Barker’s remarkable The Silence of the Girls retells the Iliad from the perspective of Briseis. Towards the end of Barker’s novel, Briseis ponders how the war will be remembered. “What will they make of us, the people of those unimaginably distant times? One thing I do know: they won’t want the brutal reality of conquest and slavery. They won’t want to be told about the massacres of men and boys, the enslavement of women and girls. They won’t want to know we were living in a rape camp.”
They do now, in the midst of a fourth-wave feminist surge.