A Response to my Kirkus Review

Lauren McElroy perfectly rebutted the part of my review that I felt was unjustified. Here is what she wrote:

DOES ELENA DOUGLAS “BREAK WITH TRADITION” IN HER RECENT NOVEL WARRIOR”S PRIZE? The novel’s protagonist is Briseis, a woman taken as booty by the Greeks during the war portrayed in the Iliad. The Kirkus review says that “[i]n making Briseis the hero of her story, Douglas skillfully gives center stage to women who are mostly silent pawns or invisible in the Iliad and most texts inspired by it.” The reviewer also calls Warrior’s Prize “[a] carefully crafted tale that offers a fresh, woman-centered reevaluation of an ancient story” However, the reviewer then seems to imply that Briseis should be thinking, feeling and acting in line with “the roles of honor and a heroic death” in Homer’s world. But isn’t this the point of a historical novel, giving the reader an opportunity to imagine personages from history as real people? Isn’t it possible, and even likely, that Briseis had feelings and motives differing from those of the patriarchal society in which she was captive? What do you think? (See review here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/…/elena…/warriors-prize/

Thanks to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples for this photo of a 1st century Pompeiian wall fresco depicting Briseis being transferred as booty from Achilles to Agamemnon