The Emperor's Babe
“Lots of fun . . . like an episode of Sex and the City written by Ovid.”—Kirkus Reviews
Bernardine Evaristo’s tale of forbidden love in bustling third-century London is an intoxicating cocktail of poetry, history, and fiction. Feisty, precocious Zuleika, a restless teenage bride of a rich Roman businessman, craves passion and excitement. She wanders through his villa, bored, or sneaks out to see her old friends, seeking an outlet for her creativity. Then she begins an affair with the emperor, Septimus Severus, remembered to history as the “African Emperor,” and she knows her life will never be the same. Streetwise, seductive, and lyrical, The Emperor’s Babe is a “glittering fiction” with a “heroine of ancient times for the modern age” (The Times).
“The adventures of a sassy, sexy girl about town . . . Funny, engaging, and a daring evocation of the possible genesis of black British history.”—The Independent on Sunday
“Smart, imaginative, and readable . . . A rich farrago of historical fact and outrageous fancy.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Zuleika leads us on a riotous, racy whirl through Roman Londinium—while displaying her lyric gift throughout, and at last her heartbreak to the core, and her own embrace of doom. . . . a captivating tale in verse.”—Robert Fagles
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