The Emperor's Babe is Bernardine Evaristo's unique lyrical portrait of Roman LondonMeet Zuleika: sassy girl about town, hellraiser, bored ex-child-bride, black Roman in Londinium, AD 211. In the place (and time) to be . . .Through the bustling, hustling city, its slum tenements and sumptuous villas, we follow Zuleika, feisty and precocious daughter of Sudanese immigrants made good. Married to a fat, rich absent Roman, she is stranded in luxurious neglect, until, one day, Septimus Severus, the Emperor himself, comes to town, bringing with him not just love - but danger . . .Funky and funny, sexy and moving, this novel in verse is a triumph of imaginative writing - and of sheer lyrical and emotional vitality.'A heroine of ancient times for the modern age . . . a glittering fiction whose words leap off the page into life. Brilliant'The Times'Funny, engaging and daring'Independent on Sunday'Exhilarating . . . wildly entertaining then deeply affecting'Ali Smith'Adventurous, compelling and utterly original. You won't read another book like it this year'The TimesBernardine Evaristo is the author of three critically acclaimed 'verse novels' - Lara, The Emperor's Babe (which won the Arts Council Award in 2000) and Soul Tourists - and two prose novels, Blonde Roots and Mr Loverman. Evaristo is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, and was awarded an MBE in 2009. She lives in London.