Grau’s insightful and mesmerizing collection of stories, about nine Southern women unified by their search for happiness in the face of overwhelming odds The nine namesake women of this collection come from all levels of New Orleans society, from the daughters of servants to affluent ladies. All, however, struggle with grief, longing, and hope. In “Widows Walk,” for instance, Myra Rowland tries to make sense of life after the death of her husband. “In the Beginning” depicts a daughter trying to understand her own mother’s determination to raise her up from abject poverty. “Ending,” meanwhile, tells of a couple whose union dissolves just as their daughter marries. In many cases, these protagonists are struggling to accept the sudden loss of life and love in a land teeming with both. Grau is one of America’s most masterful storytellers, a writer with an eye for the teeming diversity of life in the Deep South. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Shirley Ann Grau, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
The #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Fear of Flying brings the seductive Greek poet to life in this “enormously entertaining” tale (Booklist).
As she stands poised at the edge of a precipice in the shadow of the sanctuary of Apollo, the greatest love poet who ever was or ever will be recalls the eventful fifty years that have led her to this moment. It was love that seduced her, at age sixteen, into an ill-fated plot with the poet Alcaeus to depose the despot of the island of Lesbos. It was love that made her trade the unwanted marriage bed of an old, despised, and drunken husband for a seemingly endless series of lovers, both male and female.
For Sappho, life has always been a banquet to be savored to the fullest, a strange and sensual odyssey that has carried her to the far corners of the ancient world. Devoted to the goddess Aphrodite and granted the gift of immortal song, she has followed her magnificent destiny from Delphi to Egypt, to the land of the Amazons, the realm of the centaurs, and into the stygian depths of Hades itself, often in the company of her companion and friend, the fabulist slave Aesop.
Through every grand affair and every wild adventure, she has remained forever true to her heart, her passion, and herself, right up to this, the end of everything.
Combining evocative and realistic detail with unabashedly outrageous invention, Erica Jong’s Sappho’s Leap is a flawless gem of historical fiction boldly imagined by one of America’s most enthralling storytellers.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erica Jong including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Fortune's DaughterAn “intimate, lovely novel, most of whose concerns swirl about the pain and joys of motherhood,” from the New York Times–bestselling author of Faithful (People).
Rae Perry has been in love with Jessup since high school. Two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, they ran away from Boston together and have been moving ever since—five states in seven years. Now they are in Southern California in what they call “earthquake weather,” a time when anything can happen, and Jessup is restless again. This time, Rae fears, he plans to leave without her.
Lila Grey is a fortune-teller. More than a quarter century ago, on a cold and icy night in New York City, she gave birth to a daughter she never saw again. Lila is determined to find her lost child, even if it means an end to her happy life with Richard, the loving husband she refuses to let into her past.
It is Lila who tells Rae she is pregnant—but the other symbol she reads in Rae’s tea leaves, she refuses to reveal. From that moment forward, their fates are inextricably linked. While Rae searches for the strength to navigate an uncertain future alone, Lila sets out to resolve her history once and for all.
This luminous novel, a New York Times Notable Book, is an enthralling tribute to the profound mysteries of motherhood and childbirth from a writer who, in the words of Amy Tan, “takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things.”
Real PeopleAt an artistic Garden of Eden, one writer finds that serpents lurk in every corner
The mansion is called Illyria, but for the writers and artists who flock there each summer, it may as well be paradise. Away from family, friends, and ordinary responsibilities, the creative spirit can flower, nurtured by the company of other artistic souls. Janet Belle Smith’s husband doesn’t understand why she can’t write at home—or really, for that matter, why she must write at all—but for Janet, the reason is clear. Only in Illyria can she be herself. But as the writer mingles with her fellow artists—including a Marxist novelist, a Beat poet, a wild-man sculptor—she begins to fear that the “real” her isn’t who she expected, and Illyria is not the peaceful kingdom it appears to be. This creative paradise is rotting from inside out, and if Janet doesn’t move quickly, she’ll be trapped in the rubble when the walls come tumbling down. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alison Lurie including rare images from the author’s collection.
An Unofficial Rose
A powerful novel of a family’s search for love amid the wreckage of failed relationships An Unofficial Rose is a story of a father and son, both dissatisfied with their lives, and both in love with someone other than their wives. While the father, a widower, regrets never leaving his wife for his mistress, the son seeks any opportunity to escape his dull marriage. Written with Murdoch’s masterful blend of comedy and tragedy, An Unofficial Rose is a compelling story of love, regret, and the complexity of human relationships.
The Time Is NoonIn one of Pearl Buck’s most revealing works, a woman looks back on her long and rocky path to self-realization
Considered to be one of Pearl S. Buck’s most autobiographical novels, The Time Is Noon was kept from publication for decades on account of its personal resonance. The book tells the story of Joan Richards and her journey of self-discovery during the first half of the twentieth century. As a child, family and small-town life obscure Joan’s individuality; as an adult, it’s inhibited by an unhappy marriage. After breaking free of the latter, she begins a stark reassessment of the way she’s been living—and to her surprise, learns to appreciate all that lies ahead. The Time Is Noon is a humble, elegant tale of chances lost and reclaimed, and remains beautifully affirming today. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author’s estate.
The Three Button Trick
Nicola Barker, Man Booker Prize–shortlisted author of Darkmans and The Yips and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and Hawthornden Prize, gathers her finest short fiction in this irresistible collection
Audacious, original, clever, poignant—these are just a few words that describe the writing of Nicola Barker, an award-winning author who has been compared to Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, and Margaret Atwood. Now nineteen of her finest short stories have been compiled into one startling, delightfully readable volume. It takes young Carrie twenty-one years and a chance meeting with an eighty-three-year-old widow to realize she fell victim to her husband’s “three button trick.” The main character in “Wesley” must work through his troubled childhood in a series of episodes involving masses of eels, an imaginary friend named Joy, and an unmentionable incident with an emu-owl. Whether describing erotic encounters behind clothing racks or a kleptomaniac with his organs on the wrong side, these stories never fail to surprise us, entertain us, and make us think.
Possessing the Secret of JoyAn American woman struggles with the genital mutilation she endured as a child in Africa in a New York Times bestseller “as compelling as The Color Purple” (San Francisco Chronicle).
In Tashi’s tribe, the Olinka, young girls undergo female genital mutilation as an initiation into the community. Tashi manages to avoid this fate at first, but when pressed by tribal leaders, she submits. Years later, married and living in America as Evelyn Johnson, Tashi’s inner pain emerges. As she questions why such a terrifying, disfiguring sacrifice was required, she sorts through the many levels of subjugation with which she’s been burdened over the years.
In Possessing the Secret of Joy, Alice Walker exposes the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation in an unforgettable, moving novel.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
CashelmaraThe New York Times–bestselling saga: In nineteenth-century Ireland, a titled English family keeps an estate in an era of famine and violent conflict.
When Edward de Salis travels to America after the death of his first wife, he is astonished to find himself falling in love with Marguerite, a young woman many years his junior. Full of hope for the future, he returns to his Irish estate, Cashelmara, but in nineteenth-century Ireland—a country racked by poverty and famine—his family eventually becomes trapped in a sinister spiral of violence that Edward could never have foreseen. Cashelmara follows the fortunes of three generations as they struggle to survive both the tragedies of history and their own chaotic lives. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Susan Howatch including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Reality and Dreams“Sleek and suggestive . . . [Reality and Dreams] is so smart and seductive that you fail to notice how completely you’ve accepted a world gone utterly awry.” —Kirkus Reviews
British film director Tom Richard won acclaim for his moments of pure creative inspiration. But when Richard is hospitalized after toppling from a crane during a shoot, he awakes not knowing what is real and what is not—and with no idea who to trust. Soon his wife, children, and friends are all undergoing crises of their own, from the breakup of a marriage to the loss of a job. As Richard fights to regain his health and stay centered amid the swirling chaos of his personal life, he must also wrest control of his film—his most prized pursuit—from those who seek to take it away. Witty andengrossing, Reality and Dreams is a whiplash ride through the highs and lows of the creative process. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland.
Shine On, Bright & Dangerous Object
The vibrant and tender story of a young woman coming to terms with tragedy and finding the courage to love again
From the moment they meet, Elizabeth “Olly” Marcus and Sam Bax are coconspirators. They dump Olly’s boyfriend in the library, speed off on the back of Sam’s motorcycle, and seal their reckless bargain with a kiss in an apple orchard. A year later, they are married. Five years after that, Olly is a widow, her last glimpse of Sam a bright white dot on the horizon as he sailed into a storm off the coast of Maine.
At the age of twenty-seven, Olly must begin again. She has lost an accomplice, but Sam’s parents have lost a son, and his brother, Patrick, has lost his best friend and the one person who truly understood him. The bonds of family are both a comfort and a burden to Olly as she tries to find a way to live with her grief and accept her role in her daredevil husband’s fate. Eventually she rediscovers her own sense of adventure, and with a newfound strength, she pursues a deep and abiding love that is the greatest surprise of her life.
Told with compassion, honesty, and humor, Shine On, Bright & Dangerous Object is an unforgettable story of love and loss.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Laurie Colwin including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.
The Life and Loves of a She-DevilFay Weldon takes “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” to dazzling new heights in this quintessential novel about a wife’s revenge
Ruth loves her husband, Bobbo, a handsome, successful accountant. But Bobbo has fallen in love with Mary Fisher, a bestselling romance novelist who lives in a high tower overlooking the sea, pampered by her young, virile manservant. Mary is petite, dainty, and lovely. He tells Ruth about his affair and when Ruth reacts badly, he promptly moves out. In turn, Ruth decides to orchestrate a fiendish and masterful revenge. The Life and Loves of a She-Devil is a masterpiece about love, hate, infidelity, corrosive envy, and the best kind of revenge.