The Sweet Girl
Pythias is her father's daughter, right down to her hard, intelligent slate-grey eyes. Aristotle has never been able to resist a keen mind in another - even in his own girl-child who should be content with the kitchen, the loom and a life dictated by the rhythms of childbearing. His little Pytho is smart, able to best his students in debate and match wits with a roomful of Athenian thinkers. Is she a freak or a harbinger of what women can really be? Hers is a privileged position, a woman who moves in a man's world, protected by the reputation of her philosopher father. But when the great warrior-king Alexander dies a thousand miles from Athens, sentiment turns against anyone associated with him, most especially his famous teacher, Aristotle. Forced to flee, Aristotle and his family head to the garrison town of Chalcis; however, ailing and broken in spirit, the old philosopher soon dies. Without her father, the orphaned sixteen-year-old Pytho quickly discovers that the world is a place of superstition, not logic, and that a girl can be preyed upon by gods and goddesses, as much as by grown men and women. To safely journey to a place in which she can be everything she truly is, Aristotle's daughter will need every ounce of wit she possesses, but she must also learn, quickly, to nurture her capacity to love.
LONGLIST 2012 - SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE""The Sweet Girl" is a remarkable novel, not just a pleasure to read but also a book that I expect to reread several times."-Jeet Heer, "The National Post" "The intimate and the infinite are tangled together in this incandescent book, lit by Aristotle's bright spark of a daughter. Lucid even in nightmare, "The Sweet Girl" slips sideways around the philosopher to examine the lives of girls and women when we were not yet human." -Marina Endicott, author of "The Little Shadows" and "Good to a Fault" "Annabel Lyon is a wonderful writer, adept at breathing life into the ancient past. She reanimates near-mythical characters until we feel we know them intimately--their dreams and desires, their brilliance and their failings--which is an achievement only the finest historical novelists can aspire to. I loved "The Golden Mean", and to return to the world of Aristotle and Alexander in "The Sweet Girl "is a rare pleasure." --Jane Johnson, author of "The Tenth Gift", "The Salt Road" and "The Sultan's Wife"
Annabel Lyon is the author of two short story collections, Oxygen, and The Best Thing for You. She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two children. In 2009, she won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for her novel, The Golden Mean.