New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

March 23, 2017
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Mikhail and Margarita

March 22, 2017
Himes, Julie Lekstrom, author.
New York, N.Y. : Europa Editions, 2017.
375 pages ; 21 cm
It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov's enviable career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously candid Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, and infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a scathing novel critical of both power and the powerful. Ranging between lively readings in the homes of Moscow's literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Mikhail and Margarita recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country whose towering literary tradition is at odds with a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. Margarita is a strong, idealistic, seductive woman who is fiercely loved by two very different men, both of whom will fail in their attempts to shield her from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice. Debut novelist Julie Lekstrom Himes launches a rousing defense of art and the artist during a time of systematic deception, and she movingly portrays the ineluctable consequences of love for one of history's most enigmatic literary figures.

The Hollywood daughter : a novel

March 14, 2017
Alcott, Kate, author.
©2017
305 pages ; 25 cm
In 1950, Ingrid Bergman-- already a major star-- has a baby out of wedlock with her Italian lover, film director Roberto Rossellini. Previously held up as an icon of purity, Bergman's fall shocked her legions of American fans. Growing up in Hollywood, Jessica Malloy watches as her PR executive father helps make Ingrid a star at Selznick International Pictures. Over years of fleeting interactions with the actress, Jesse comes to idolize Ingrid, who she considered not only the epitome of elegance and integrity, but also the picture-perfect mother, an area where her own difficult mom falls short. When the stress placed on Jesse's father begins to reveal hidden truths about the Malloy family, Jesse's eyes are opened to the complex realities of life--and love.

The confessions of young Nero

March 13, 2017
George, Margaret, 1943- author.
©2017
514 pages ; 24 cm
"New York Times bestselling author Margaret George has brought history to vivid life with her chronicles of queens and kings. Now, she turns her gaze to an Emperor ... Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar's imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman--or child. As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead. While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina's machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become--an Emperor who became legendary. With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival"-- Provided by publisher.

In the name of the family : a novel

March 13, 2017
Dunant, Sarah, author.
New York : Random House, 2017.
429 pages ; 25 cm
In the Name of the Family explores the House of Borgia's final years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli--adapted from book jacket.

Mata Khari : Shpionka

March 7, 2017
Coelho, Paulo, author.
©2016
255 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
First published in Portuguese in Brazil in 2016.
"When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era's richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari's lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari's voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price." -- goodreads.com

Shum vremeni

March 7, 2017
Barnes, Julian, author.
Moskva : Izdatelʹstvo "Inostranka", [2016]
285 pages ; 21 cm
"A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich--Julian Barnes's first novel since his best-selling, Booker Prize-winning The Sense of an Ending. 1936: Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, shot dead on the spot), he reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children all of those hanging in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for years to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party, and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music. Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovich's career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant meditation on the meaning of art and its place in society"-- Provided by publisher.

Girl in disguise

February 28, 2017
Macallister, Greer, author.
©2017
308 pages ; 24 cm
Widowed and in need of a job, Kate Warne convinces Allan Pinkerton that a female detective can go places and do things a male detective cannot. Once hired, Kate becomes skilled at lock picking and surveillance, but she is best in disguise--as a prostitute, rich matron, spinster, clerk, Southern belle--an expert liar, playing a role. She investigates burglaries, bank robberies, embezzlement, counterfeiting, blackmail, and murder. Eventually earning the respect of her fellow detectives, Kate comes up with an ingenious plan to protect President Lincoln from a Southern assassination plot. During the Civil War, she must fight against a formidable adversary--notorious Southern spy Mrs. Rose Greenhow. Well-told and loaded with suspense and action, this historical novel about Kate Warne, the first female detective in 1850s Chicago, is superb.-- adapted from book review.

A Piece of the World : a novel

February 27, 2017
Kline, Christina Baker, 1964- author.
©2017
309 pages, 1 unnumbered leaf of plates : color illustration ; 24 cm
Imagines the life story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World," describing the simple life she led on a remote Maine farm, her complicated relationship with her family, and the illness that incapacitated her.

The English agent

February 27, 2017
DePoy, Phillip, author.
©2017
vii, 307 pages ; 22 cm
"A Christopher Marlowe mystery"--Jacket.
"In 1583, young Christopher Marlowe--student, brawler, rakehell, and would-be playwright--has had a dreadful evening. The first performance of his play in the corner of a very disreputable Cambridge bar is a humiliating flop, and then he's attacked on the streets while in the company of Thomas Kyd. So when Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's spymaster, sends for him, Marlowe is only too happy to go. The assignment is go to Holland, where England's ally, William the Silent, is the target of a Spanish assassination plot--a plot that is only the first step in the latest attempt to usurp the throne of England"-- Provided by publisher.

We were the lucky ones

February 22, 2017
Hunter, Georgia, 1978- author.
New York : Viking, [2017]
403 pages ; 24 cm.
An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who scatter at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive, and to reunite. It is the spring of 1939, and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows ever closer. Driven by an extraordinary will to survive and by the fear that they may never see each other again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. -- Provided by publisher.

Lincoln in the bardo : a novel

February 16, 2017
Saunders, George, 1958- author.
New York : Random House, [2017]
341 pages ; 25 cm
On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son's body. Willie finds himself in a strange purgatory-- the bardo-- where ghosts commisserate quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance ... and where a struggle erupts over his soul.

The coming : a novel

February 15, 2017
Osborne, David, 1951- author.
©2017
viii, 519 pages : illustration, maps, genealogical table ; 25 cm
A "novel of native-white relations in North America, intimately told through the life of Daytime Smoke--the real-life red-haired son of William Clark and a Nez Perce woman. In 1805, Lewis and Clark stumble out of the Rockies on the edge of starvation. The Nez Perce help the explorers build canoes and navigate the rapids of the Columbia, then spend two months hosting them the following spring before leading them back across the snowbound mountains. Daytime Smoke is born not long after, and the tribe of his youth continues a deep friendship with white Americans, from fur trappers to missionaries, even aiding the United States government in wars with neighboring tribes. But when gold is discovered on Nez Perce land in 1860, it sets an inevitable tragedy in motion."--Provided by publisher.

Stolen beauty : a novel

February 14, 2017
Lico Albanese, Laurie, 1959- author.
©2017
306 pages : map ; 24 cm
"From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt's most remarkable paintings.".--From publisher's description.

Two empresses

February 7, 2017
Purdy, Brandy.
[New York] : Kensington Books, [2017] ©2017
325 pages ; 21 cm
Includes Reading group guide.
French Martinique, 1779. Two beautiful well-bred cousins have reached marriageable age. One goes on to marry Napoleon, and become Empress of France. The other, captured by pirates, is taken to the Sultan of Turkey's harem. From the war-torn streets of Paris to the bejeweled golden bars of a Turkish palace, this is a vivid account of two remarkable women and their extraordinary destinies.

World, chase me down : a novel

February 2, 2017
Hilleman, Andrew, 1982- author.
©2017
332 pages ; 20 cm
"A rousing, suspenseful debut novel--True Grit meets Catch Me If You Can--based on the forgotten true story of a Robin Hood of the American frontier who pulls off the first successful kidnapping for ransom in U.S. history. Once the most wanted man in America, Pat Crowe is a forgotten folk hero who captivated the nation as an outlaw for economic justice. World, Chase Me Down resurrects him, telling the electrifying story of the first great crime of the last century: how in 1900 the out-of-work former butcher kidnapped the teenage son of Omaha's wealthiest meatpacking tycoon for a ransom of $25,000 in gold, and then burgled, safe-cracked, and bond-jumped his way across the country and beyond, inciting a manhunt that was dubbed "the thrill of the nation" and a showdown in the court of public opinion between the haves and have-nots--all the while plotting a return to the woman he never stopped loving. As if channeling Mark Twain and Charles Portis, Andrew Hilleman has given us a character who is bawdy and soulful, grizzled, salty, and hard-drinking, and with a voice as unforgettable as that of Lucy Marsden in Alan Gurganus's Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All--an anti-hero you can't help rooting for"-- Provided by publisher.

Lillian Boxfish takes a walk

January 30, 2017
Rooney, Kathleen, 1980- author.
©2017
viii, 287 pages ; 22 cm
"A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk... paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young"--Provided by publisher.

Stone mirrors : the sculpture and silence of Edmonia Lewis

January 26, 2017
Atkins, Jeannine, 1953- author.
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017.
172 pages ; 22 cm
"A biographical novel in verse of a half Native American, half African American female sculptor, Edmonia Lewis, working in the years right after the Civil War"--Provided by publisher.

If you are there

January 24, 2017
Sherman, Susan, author.
Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint Press, [2017]
262 pages ; 24 cm
A "coming-of-age story about a young Polish girl and her friendships with Madame Curie and Eusapia Palladino"-- Provided by publisher.

The lady of the lakes : the true love story of Sir Walter Scott

January 17, 2017
Kilpack, Josi S., author.
©2017
338 pages ; 23 cm
"A historical proper romance"--T.p.
Young author Walter Scott is desperately in love with Mina, but after she rejects his marriage proposal, Walter travels to England, where he meets and courts a young Frenchwoman, Charlotte Carpenter and discovers there is a difference between a man's first love and his best love.

A want of kindness : a novel

December 29, 2016
Limburg, Joanne, 1970- author.
New York : Pegasus Books, 2016.
ix, 435 pages ; 24 cm
"The wicked, bawdy Restoration court is no place for a child princess. Ten-year-old Anne cuts an odd figure: a sickly child, she is drawn towards improper pursuits. Cards, sweetmeats, scandal, and gossip with her Ladies of the Bedchamber figure large in her life. But as King Charles' niece, Anne is also a political pawn, who will be forced to play her part in the troubled Stuart dynasty. Transformed from overlooked princess to the heiress of England, she will be forced to overcome grief for her lost children, the political maneuverings of her sister and her closest friends, and her own betrayal of her father, before the fullness of her destiny is revealed" -- provided by publisher.

The Mayakovsky tapes : a novel

December 9, 2016
Littell, Robert, 1935- author.
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2016.
243 pages ; 22 cm
"In March 1953, four women meet in Room 408 of Moscow's deluxe Metropole Hotel. They have gathered, not altogether willingly, to reminisce about Vladimir Mayakovsky, the poet who in death had become a national idol of Soviet Russia. In life, however, he was a much more complicated figure. Each of these ladies loved Mayakovsky in the course of his life, and as they piece together their memories of him, a portrait of the artist emerges."-- Provided by publisher.

Victoria

December 9, 2016
Goodwin, Daisy, author.
©2016
404 pages ; 25 cm
"Less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this young woman can rule the greatest nation in the world. Despite her age the young queen is no puppet. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.She went on to make her mark on her nation-- and the world. Drawing on Victoria's own diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin brings us the brilliantly imagined life of a young woman about to make her mark on her nation--and the world."--Jacket.

The spy : a novel

December 7, 2016
Coelho, Paulo, author.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
190 pages ; 21 cm
"Originally published in Brazil as A Espiã by TK in 2016" -- Verso title page.
"A novel of Mata Hari's final days, as written by the woman herself while accused of espionage" -- Provided by publisher.

The Autumn throne : a novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

December 7, 2016
Chadwick, Elizabeth, 1957- author.
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2016]
505 pages ; 21 cm
The stunning conclusion to the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy. Imprisoned by her husband. Separated from her children. If King Henry II thought these things would push his queen into submission, he was wrong. Eleanor of Aquitaine refused to give into his tyranny. Freed by his death, she became dowager Queen of England. But the competition for land and power that Henry bred among his sons had grown into a dangerous rivalry that Eleanor must skillfully control. Eleanor would need every ounce of courage and fortitude as she crossed the Alps in winter to bring her son Richard his bride, ransom him from imprisonment and deal with his brother John's treachery. Her indomitable spirit would be tested to its limits as she attempted to keep the peace between her warring sons, fend off enemies, and negotiate a magnificent future for a chosen granddaughter.

Schlump

December 5, 2016
Grimm, Hans Herbert, 1896-1950, author.
New York : NYRB Classics, [2016]
279 pages ; 21 cm.
"Seventeen-year-old Schlump marches off to war in 1915 because going to war is the best way to meet girls. And so he does, on his first posting, overseeing three villages in occupied France. But then Schlump is sent to the front, and the good times end. Schlump, which was published anonymously in 1928 and widely translated at the time, was one of the first German novels to describe World War I in all its horror and absurdity and it remains one of the best. What really sets it apart is its remarkable central character. Who is Schlump? A bit of a rascal and a bit of a sweetheart, a victim of his times, an inveterate survivor, maybe even a new type of man. At once comedy, documentary, hellhole, and fairy tale, Schlump is a gripping and disturbing book about the experience of trauma and what the great critic Walter Benjamin, writing at the same time as Hans Herbert Grimm, would call the death of experience, since perhaps if anything goes, nothing counts"-- Provided by publisher.

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