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  • Published: 25 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473584273
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

Names of the Women

An extraordinary reimagining of the New Testament from the points of view of the women who became the disciples of Jesus Christ - and whose roles have been erased from the Gospels

'Original and thought-provoking' SPECTATOR
'Electrifying' TESSA HADLEY

Under a predawn sky, humming with starlight and the songs of birds, a group of determined women return to the cave where they have laid the body of their saviour. When they arrive, it is empty.

Names of the Women tells the stories of fifteen women whose lives overlapped with the life of Christ. Women who stayed with Christ through the crucifixion, when his disciples had abandoned him, and who spread his radical message - one that made them equals and a profound threat to power within the church.

Together, the voices of the women dare us to reimagine the story of the New Testament in a way it has never before been told.


  • Published: 25 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473584273
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

Praise for Names of the Women

Names of The Women unerases the erased, gives voice to the silenced, restores the lost, and brings dazzling, smouldering life to stories long left for dead. It is literally a tale that's waited a thousand years to be told.

Marlon James, Winner of the 2015 Booker Prize

Names of the Women is an extraordinary work of restoration, playful invention, and stark beauty.

Chris Power

An electrifying new treatment of the old story; haunting, mysterious, intelligent.

Tessa Hadley

Achingly beautiful. Powerful, poetic and profoundly feminist.

Jennifer Croft

Original and thought-provoking . . . This is a bold and beguiling addition to the canon of New Testament fiction.

Michael Arditti, Spectator

Bold and compelling.

Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times


Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

It's fascinating to be reminded how little we properly understand one of the foundational stories of western civilisation. And there are moments where the much-pondered events are reframed in a new light.

Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Theologically well-informed, imaginative and affecting . . . This is a fascinating and beautiful book. You most certainly do not have to be either a Christian or a feminist to appreciate it.

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

Thayil sheds absorbing light on a period when women of all classes were disregarded . . . [Names of the Women is] executed with real empathy and aplomb.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

Jeet Thayil's Names of the Women enacts a long-overdue reinstating of female voices in the story of Jesus . . .

Emily Watkins

[A] richly imagined novel.

Lady, *Summer Reads of 2021*

Women from the New Testament are given a voice and their side of the story in this richly imagined but impressively researched novel. Thayil's knowledge and rootedness in the biblical world is palpable on every page.

Juanita Coulson, Lady, *Books of the Year*

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