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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

From the Booker prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other.

Winner of The Nesta Fellowship Award 2003. 

A coming-of-age tale to make the muses themselves roar with laughter and weep for pity - sassy, razor-sharp and transformative -- from the acclaimed author of Mr Loverman.

Londinium, AD 211. Zuleika is a modern girl living in an ancient world. She's a back-alley firecracker, a scruffy Nubian babe with tangled hair and bare feet - and she's just been married off to a fat old Roman. Life as a teenage bride is no joke but Zeeks is a born survivor. She knows this city like the back of her hand: its slave girls and drag queens, its shining villas and rotting slums. She knows how to get by. Until one day she catches the eye of the most powerful man on earth, the Roman Emperor, and her trouble really starts....

Silver-tongued and merry-eyed, this is a story in song and verse, a joyful mash-up of today and yesterday. Kaleidoscoping distant past and vivid present, The Emperor's Babe asks what it means to be a woman and to survive in this thrilling, brutal, breathless world.

©2020 Bernardine Evaristo (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

 "Wildly entertaining, deeply affecting." (Ali Smith, author of How to be both and Autumn

What listeners say about The Emperor's Babe

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Intriguing, Intelligent & Witty Listen

My first Bernadine Evaristo Audiobook. An intriguing, intelligent and witty read/listen, a solid 4 stars for sure. I can see why Evaristo's work has received such critical acclaim. I loved how 21st Century references were seamlessly applied to the Roman Britain setting. Although you know the novel is written in verse, which did throw me a bit at the outset; due to the immersive nature of its writing - you soon forget that. Effortlessly narrated by Sheila Atim

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. Disappointing

After Mr. Loverman , I expected better.
The biggest let down was the narrator's failure to study the Scots tongue. As a Scott, I couldn't understand half the gibberish she was spewing out. So good luck to non Scottish readers. She gave absolutely no substance to the two female Scottish characters making them disappear within the plot, and made a fool of herself because she didn't make the effort to do a bit of groundwork.
Would have been better to have read this rather than listen to.

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Enjoyable, funny and light

Really enjoyable book, funny and light but not shallow. Not as complex, deep engaged as Girl, woman, other but not a criticism,just a different style.

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Perfect in every way

Brilliant book with a brilliant narrator. Who can ask for anything more. Certainly not me.