New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

August 17, 2017
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The mapmaker's daughter : the confessions of Nurbanu Sultan, 1525-1583 : [a novel]

August 16, 2017
Hughes, Katherine Nouri, author.
Encino, CA : Delphinium Books, [2017]
xviii, 345 pages : map, genealogical table ; 21 cm.
"The Mapmaker's Daughter, a historical novel set in the 16th century, is the confession of Nurbanu, born Cecilia Baffo Veniero - the mesmerizing, illegitimate Venetian who became the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent--the bold backstory of the Netflix Series, Magnificent Century. Narrating the spectacular story of her rise to the pinnacle of imperial power, Queen Mother Nurbanu, on her sickbed, is determined to understand how her bond with the greatest of all Ottoman sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, shaped her destiny -- not only as the wife of his successor but as the appointed enforcer of one of the Empire's most crucial and shocking laws. Nurbanu spares nothing as she dissects the desires and motives that have propelled and harmed her; as she considers her role as devoted and manipulative mother; as she reckons her relations with the women of the Harem; and as she details the fate of the most sophisticated observatory in the world. Nurbanu sets out to "see" the causes and effects of her loves and choices, and she succeeds by means of unflinching candor - right up to the last shattering revelation."-- Provided by publisher.

The Cottingley secret : a novel

August 9, 2017
Gaynor, Hazel, author.
©2017
383, 16 pages ; 24 cm
Includes P.S. insights, interviews & more ...
1917... It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true--didn't it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs' authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told. One hundred years later... When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather's bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls' lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?

The last Tudor

August 2, 2017
Gregory, Philippa, author.
New York : Touchstone, 2017.
518 pages : genealogical tables ; 25 cm
"The story of one of the most famous girls in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen. Seventeen-year-old Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king's half-sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block, where Jane transformed her father's greedy power-grab into tragic martyrdom."--Provided by publisher.

Drinks with dead poets : a season of Poe, Whitman, Byron, and the Brontës

August 2, 2017
Maxwell, Glyn, 1962-
New York : Pegasus Books, 2017.
345 pages ; 24 cm
Poet Glyn Maxwell wakes up in a mysterious village one autumn day. He has no idea how he got there; is he dead? In a coma? Dreaming?-- but he has a strange feeling there's a class to teach. And isn't that the poet Keats wandering down the lane? Why not ask him to give a reading, do a Q and A, hit the pub with the students afterwards? Soon the whole of the autumn term stretches ahead, with Byron, Yeats and Emily Dickinson, the Brontës, the Brownings, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Wilfred Owen, and many more all on their way to give readings in the humble village hall. And everything these famed personalities say -- in class, on stage, at the Cross Keys pub comes verbatim from these poets' diaries, essays, or letters. A dreamy novel of a profound autumn term with Poe, Yeats, Whitman, Dickinson, and the Brontës. -- amazon.com

The velveteen daughter : a novel

July 26, 2017
Huber, Laurel Davis, author.
©2017
399 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm
The Velveteen Daughter reveals for the first time the true story of two remarkable women: Margery Williams Bianco, the author of one of the most beloved children's books of all time-- The Velveteen Rabbit --and her daughter Pamela, a world-renowned child prodigy artist whose fame at one time greatly eclipses her mother's. But celebrity at such an early age exacts a great toll. Pamela's dreams elude her as she struggles with severe depressions, an overbearing father, an obsessive love affair, and a spectacularly misguided marriage. Throughout, her life raft is her mother.The glamorous art world of Europe and New York in the early 20th century and a supporting cast of luminaries--Eugene O'Neill and his wife Agnes (Margery's niece), Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and Richard Hughes, author of A High Wind in Jamaica --provide a vivid backdrop to the Biancos' story. From the opening pages, the novel will captivate readers with its multifaceted and illuminating observations on art, family, and the consequences of genius touched by madness.

A promising life : coming of age with America : a novel

July 21, 2017
McCully, Emily Arnold, author.
New York, NY : Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2017.
v, 296 pages ; 22 cm
All his life Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, son of Sacagawea and a French fur-trapper, has lived in two worlds: the Westernized world of his godfather, William Clark, and the frontier world beyond St. Louis--but he is troubled by the way Americans mistreat tribes like the Osage, Arikara, and Mandan, and as a man of mixed ancestry, he must ultimately choose which of the two heritages is more important to him.

Perish from the earth

July 19, 2017
Putnam, Jonathan F., author.
New York : Crooked Lane, 2017.
325 pages ; 25 cm.
"Newly minted trial lawyer Abraham Lincoln is riding the circuit, traveling by carriage with other lawyers and a judge to bring justice to the remote parts of Illinois. Meanwhile, Lincoln's close friend Joshua Speed steams up the Mississippi River aboard a steamboat owned by Speed's father. Suddenly, his journey is interrupted when a crooked card game turns to violence -- and then murder. Speed enlists Lincoln to defend the accused, but they soon come to discover that more than just the card games are crooked aboard the Speed family's ship. As the day of judgment hurtles toward them, Lincoln must fight to save the life of his client while preserving the cause he holds so dear" -- provided by publisher.

Slow days, fast company : the world, the flesh, and L.A.

June 23, 2017
Babitz, Eve, author.
New York : New York Review Books, [2016]
xi, 162 pages ; 21 cm.
"There was a time when no one burned hotter than Eve Babitz. Possessing skin that radiated "its own kind of moral laws," spectacular teeth, and a figure that was the stuff of legend, she seduced seemingly everyone who was anyone in Los Angeles for a long stretch of the 1960s and '70s. But there was one man who proved elusive, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. She also pulled off a remarkable sleight of hand: Slow Days, Fast Company far exceeds its mash-note premise. It is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California. In ten sun-baked, Santa Ana wind-swept sketches, Babitz re-creates a Los Angeles of movie stars distraught over their success; socialites on three-day drug binges, evading their East Coast banking husbands; soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow's script will kill them off; Italian femme fatales even more fatal than she is. And she even leaves L.A. sometimes, spending an afternoon at the house of flawless Orange County suburbanites, a day among the grape pickers of the Central Valley, a weekend in Palm Springs where her dreams of romance fizzle and her only solace is Virginia Woolf. In the end it doesn't matter if Babitz ever gets the guy--she seduces us"-- Provided by publisher.

The crime writer : a novel

June 12, 2017
Dawson, Jill.
New York : HarperCollins, 2017.
246 pages ; 21 cm
In 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too - a secret romance with a married lover based in London. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, sexual obsessives, frauds, imposters, suicides and murderers: the tropes of her fictions clamour for her attention, rudely intruding on her peaceful Suffolk retreat. After the arrival of Ginny, an enigmatic young journalist bent on interviewing her, events take a catastrophic turn. Except, as always in Highsmith's troubled life, matters are not quite as they first appear ... Masterfully recreating Highsmith's much exercised fantasies of murder and madness, Jill Dawson probes the darkest reaches of the imagination in this novel - at once a brilliant portrait of a writer and an atmospheric, emotionally charged, riveting tale.

The Pearl Street flood : one man's experience of Cincinnati's greatest natural disaster

June 2, 2017
Zeiser, Noel, author.
[Place of publication not identified] : [Publisher not identified], [2017]
1 volume (unpaged) : map, black and white photographs ; 23 cm
Subtitle from cover.
"Faced with a diminished market for jewelry during the Great Depression, Charlie leaves a lucrative sales career to pursue safer prospects. He decides to take ownership of the family shoe store in downtown Cincinnati near the Ohio River. When the river rises to unimaginable heights in 1937, he worries not only for himself but for his wife and six children."--Amazon website.

Isadora

May 31, 2017
Gray, Amelia, 1982- author.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
viii, 386 pages ; 24 cm
"A novel"--Book jacket.
"In 1913, Isadora Duncan was known as much for her stunning dance performances as for her eccentric and salacious personal life ― her lovers included poets, directors, and the heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. But when her two children drowned in Paris, she found herself taking on a role she had never dreamed of. The tragedy brought the gossips out in full force, and the grieving mother wanted nothing more than to escape it all. Fleeing the very life she had worked so hard to build, she left her sister, Elizabeth, holding the reins of the artistic empire along with Elizabeth’s lover, Max, who had his own ideas for greatness. For two years Isadora cast about prewar Europe, living on credit on islands in Greece and in shuttered beachfront dwellings in Italy. She lashed out at her dearest lovers and friends, the very people who held her up. But life had cracked her spirit in two: on one side, the brilliant young talent who captivated audiences the world over; on the other, a heartbroken mother spinning dangerously on the edge of sanity" --Inside jacket.

Beneath a scarlet sky : a novel

May 22, 2017
Sullivan, Mark T., author.
Seattle : Lake Union Publishing, [2017]
513 pages ; 21 cm
In 1940s Italy, teenager Pino Lella joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps and falls for a beautiful widow, he also becomes the personal driver of one of the Third Reich's most powerful commanders.

The knowledge

May 22, 2017
Pressfield, Steven, author.
New York : Black Irish Entertainment, LLC., 2016.
274 pages ; 23 cm
"A too close to true novel."
Where did The War of Art come from? How did creativity sensei Steven Pressfield come up with the notion that there is an insidious force in the universe called Resistance that keeps us from pursuing our life's work and fulfilling our artistic destiny? And that until we recognize and engage in an end-of-days battle with the big "R," our inner genius will remain blocked and unborn inside an internal protoplasmic goo? Was he touched by angels as he contemplated the universe in an ashram? Did he meet a mysterious stranger in a truck stop in Twin Falls, Idaho who imparted deep truths over a cup of muddy Joe? Perhaps blunt force trauma in a Reno bar had something to do with it? If only... The truth of of Pressfield's Weltanschauung origin story lies somewhere between fact and fiction...

Anne Boleyn, a king's obsession : a novel

May 17, 2017
Weir, Alison, 1951- author.
©2017
541 pages : genealogical table ; 25 cm
Anne is barely a teenager when she is sent from her family's Hever Castle to serve at the royal court of the Netherlands. There, and later in France, Anne thrives. But her powerful family has ambitious plans for her future that override any wishes of her own. When the King of England himself, Henry VIII, asks Anne to be his mistress, she spurns his advances-- he is a married man who has already conducted an affair with her sister, Mary. This rejection only intensifies Henry's pursuit, tempting Anne even as it proves to be her undoing.

Becoming Bonnie

May 17, 2017
Walsh, Jenni L., author.
New York : Forge, 2017.
303 pages ; 24 cm
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Summer, 1927. Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. When financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's. When Roy discovers her secret life as a moll, he embraces it-- perhaps too much. But her life is headed for a crash. Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.

The little exile

May 9, 2017
Arakawa, Jeanette, author.
Berkeley, California : Stone Bridge Press, [2017]
247 pages ; 21 cm
"After Pearl Harbor, little Marie Mitsui's typical life of school and playing with friends in San Francisco is upended. Her family and thousands of others of Japanese heritage are under suspicion and forcibly relocated to internment camps far from home. Living conditions in the camps are harsh, but in the end Marie finds freedom and hope for the future. Told from a child's perspective, The Little Exile deftly conveys Marie's innocence, wonder, fear, and outrage. This work of autobiographical fiction is based on the author's own experience as a wartime internee. Jeanette S. Arakawa was born in San Francisco in 1932 and was interned in the 1940s at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas"-- Provided by publisher.

The end of Eddy

May 5, 2017
Louis, Édouard, author.
©2017
192 pages ; 20 cm
Translated from the French.
"An autobiographical novel about growing up gay in a working-class town in Picardy. "Every morning in the bathroom I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again. Today I'm really gonna be a tough guy." Growing up in a poor village in northern France, all Eddy Bellegueule wanted was to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different -- "girlish," intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men. Already translated into twenty languages, The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town. It is also a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening. Like Karl Ove Knausgaard or Edmund White, Édouard Louis writes from his own undisguised experience, but he writes with an openness and a compassionate intelligence that are all his own. The result -- a critical and popular triumph -- has made him the most celebrated French writer of his generation."-- Provided by publisher.

Family lexicon

May 1, 2017
Ginzburg, Natalia, author.
New York : New York Review Books, [2017]
221 pages ; 21 cm.
"Natalia Ginzburg, one of Italy's great writers, introduced A Family Lexicon, her most celebrated work, with an unusual disclaimer: "The places, events and people are all real. I have invented nothing. Every time that I have found myself inventing something in accordance with my old habits as a novelist, I have felt impelled at once to destroy everything thus invented." A Family Lexicon re-creates with extraordinary objectivity the small world of a family enduring some of the most difficult years of the twentieth century, the period from the rise of Mussolini through World War II (Ginzburg's first husband, who was a member of the resistance, was killed by the Nazis) and its immediate aftermath. Every family has its store of phrases and sayings by which it maintains its sense of what it means to be a family. Such sayings and stories lie at the heart of a great novel about family and history"-- Provided by publisher.

The witchfinder's sister : a novel

May 1, 2017
Underdown, Beth, author.
New York : Ballantine Books, [2017]
312 pages : map ; 25 cm
Originally published in the United Kingdom by Viking.
"A debut literary historical thriller based on the witch hunts in 1640's England--the most intense in English history--in which Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, convicted more than a hundred women of witchcraft. In 1645, Alice Hopkins returns to her brother's house in disgrace, husbandless and pregnant. The brother she remembers is now a grown man and he's hunting witches: women who live on the margins of society--often childless widows, or women with deformities or feeble minds who are rejected by their communities. Viewed through the eyes of Alice, this is a woman's story of fear, friendship, love, betrayal, and redemption. What--or who--is Matthew really hunting? And to what dark place will his obsession lead them all?"--Provided by publisher.

The most beautiful woman in Florence : a story of Botticelli

April 26, 2017
Palombo, Alyssa, author.
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2017.
309 pages ; 21 cm
Includes discussion guides.
"A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family's favored circle. Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici's glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence--most notably the rakish Giuliano de' Medici--become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus."--Provided by publisher.

Music of the ghosts

April 18, 2017
Ratner, Vaddey, author.
©2017
324 pages ; 24 cm
"A novel"--Book jacket.
Leaving the safety of America, Teera returns to Cambodia for the first time since her harrowing escape as a child refugee. She carries a letter from a man who mysteriously signs himself as "the Old Musician" and claims to have known her father in the Khmer Rouge prison where he disappeared twenty-five years ago. Arriving in Phnom Penh, Teera finds a society still in turmoil, where perpetrators and survivors of atrocity live side by side. Soon she meets a young doctor who carries his own memories of that time but also shows her a beautiful country on a fragile path of reconciliation. Meanwhile, the Old Musician anticipates the confession he must make. Together Teera and the Old Musician confront the truth of their intertwined past, weaving a melody that will leave both transformed, and freeing Teera to find a new home and a new love in the places she least expects.--Adapted from book jacket.

The girl between

April 6, 2017
Strømme, Lisa, author.
Naperville, IL : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2017]
313 pages ; 21 cm
"Originally published as The Strawberry Girl in 2016 in Great Britain by Chatto & Windus..."
"Johanne Lien has grown up living a simple life with her family in Asgardstrand, Norway, posing for visiting artists who come to the town for the beautiful summer weather. Her unassuming lifestyle takes a dramatic turn when Tullik, the beautiful younger daughter of a wealthy local family, befriends Johanne in order to get close to the controversial artist Edvard Munch. As Johanne is drawn ever deeper into the raw emotion of Munch's paintings, so too is she drawn into his highly charged relationship with the siren-like Tullik..." -- Provided by publisher

The enemies of Versailles : a novel

April 6, 2017
Christie, Sally, 1971- author.
New York : Atria Paperback, 2017.
399 pages : 21 cm.
Sequel to: The rivals of Versailles.
Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer.As the Comtesse du Barry, Jeanne quickly becomes his official mistress. After decades of suffering the King's endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV's daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility's concerns.

The drowning king : a fall of Egypt novel

April 5, 2017
Holleman, Emily, author.
©2017
421 pages : illustration ; 25 cm.
Sharing the throne of Egypt with her eleven-year-old brother Ptolemy, Cleopatra is caught in a power struggle and forced to flee during a rebel uprising, while her sister Arsinoe, who follows Cleopatra into exile, is forced to choose between betraying her family or her country.

The adventures of John Carson in several quarters of the world : a novel of Robert Louis Stevenson

April 4, 2017
Doyle, Brian, 1956 November 6- author.
©2017
viii, 229 pages ; 22 cm
"The young Robert Louis Stevenson, living in a boarding house in San Francisco while waiting for his beloved's divorce from her feckless husband, dreamed of writing a soaring novel about his landlady's adventurous and globe-trotting husband--but he never got around to it. And very soon thereafter he was married, headed home to Scotland, and on his way to becoming the most famous novelist in the world, after writing such classics as Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Kidnapped. But now Brian Doyle brings Stevenson's untold tale to life, braiding the adventures of seaman John Carson with those of a young Stevenson, wandering the streets of San Francisco, gathering material for his fiction, and yearning for his beloved across the bay" --Inside jacket.

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