Hamish Hamilton has scooped the follow-up to Pat Barker's bestseller The Women of Troy (Penguin).
The Voyage Home will continue the story of the captured Trojan women as they set sail for Mycenae with the victorious Greeks. Publishing director Simon Prosser acquired British and Commonwealth rights, including audio, from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander. Barker aims to complete the novel by the end of 2022, for publication in August 2023.
The new novel centres on the fate of Cassandra, the daughter of King Priam, priestess of Apollo, and a prophet condemned never to be heeded. When she refuses to have sex with Apollo after he has kissed her, granting her the gift of true prophecy, he spits in her mouth to make sure she will never be believed.
Iit is described as "psychologically complex and dangerously driven". The publisher said: "Cassandra’s arrival in Mycenae will set in motion a bloody train of events, drawing in King Agamemnon, his wife Clytemnestra and daughter Electra. Agamemnon’s triumphant return from Troy is far from the celebration he imagined, and the fate of the Trojan women as uncertain as they had feared."
Prosser said: "I was electrified by the opening pages of this new novel from Pat in her extraordinary Troy sequence and instantly swept back into the vivid, elemental world she has re-created from myth. What she is doing is unique, and I feel uniquely lucky to be her editor."
Barker said: "I'm delighted that Simon Prosser, the most insightful and tactful of editors, and the rest of the brilliant team at Hamish Hamilton will be publishing The Voyage Home. A huge thank you also to Clare Alexander of Aitken Alexander Associates for her astute advice and unwavering support."