New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

August 19, 2016
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Dos veces única

August 18, 2016
Poniatowska, Elena, author.
México, D.F. : Seix Barral, 2015.
412 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Casado con Diego Rivera y Jorge Cuesta, un poeta y el crítico, Lupe Mari'n se sumergen con el trabajo de Frida Kahlo, Javier Villarurutia, y otros artistas famosos a lo largo de los años 1900. Biblioteca breve (Seix Barral) serie, México.

Saffire : a novel

August 17, 2016
Brouwer, Sigmund, 1959- author.
Colorado Springs, Colorado : WaterBrook Press, 2016.
327 pages : map ; 21 cm
"I reminded myself that once you start to defend someone, it's difficult to find a place to stop. But I went ahead and took that first step anyway. For President Teddy Roosevelt, controlling the east-west passage between two oceans mattered so much that he orchestrated a revolution to control it. His command was to 'let the dirt fly' and for years, the American Zone of the Panama Canal mesmerized the world, working in uneasy co-existence with the Panamanian aristocrats. It's in this buffered Zone where, in 1909, James Holt takes that first step to protect a mulatto girl named Saffire, expecting a short and simple search for her mother. Instead it draws him away from safety, into a land haunted by a history of pirates, gold runners, and plantation owners, all leaving behind ghosts of their interwoven desires sins and ambitions, ghosts that create the web of deceit and intrigue of a new generation of revolutionary politics. It will also bring him together with a woman who will change his course or bring an end to it. A love story set within a historical mystery, Saffire is brings to vibrant life the most impressive and embattled engineering achievement of the twentieth-century"-- Provided by publisher.

The cauliflower : a novel

August 9, 2016
Barker, Nicola, 1966- author.
©2016
291 pages ; 24 cm
"From award-winning author Nicola Barker comes an exuberant, multi-voiced new novel mapping the extraordinary life and legacy of a 19th-century Hindu saint. He is only four years older, but still I call him Uncle, and when I am with Uncle I have complete faith in him. I would die for Uncle. I have an indescribable attraction towards Uncle.To the world, he is Sri Ramakrishna--godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru, and irresistible charmer. To Rani Rashmoni, she of low caste and large inheritance, he is the brahmin fated to defy tradition and preside over the temple she dares to build, six miles north of Calcutta, along the banks of the Hooghly for Ma Kali, goddess of destruction. But to Hriday, his nephew and longtime caretaker, he is just Uncle--maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering ecstatic trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to sneak out to the forest at midnight to perform dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies and devotees with ulterior motives, but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulfur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower. Rather than puzzling the shards of history and legend together, Barker shatters the mirror again and rearranges the pieces. The result is a biographical novel viewed through a kaleidoscope."--Provided by publisher.

Cooking for Picasso : a novel

August 9, 2016
Aubray, Camille, author.
New York : Ballantine Books, 2016.
390 pages ; 25 cm
"The French Riviera, spring 1936: It's off-season in the lovely seaside village of Juan-les-Pins, where seventeen-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family-owned Cafe Paradis. A mysterious new patron who's slipped out of Paris and is traveling under a different name has made an unusual request--to have his lunch served to him at the nearby villa he's secretly rented, where he wishes to remain incognito. Pablo Picasso is at a momentous crossroads in his personal and professional life--and for him, art and women are always entwined. The spirited Ondine, chafing under her family's authority and nursing a broken heart, is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites. Her encounter with Picasso will continue to affect her life for many decades onward, as the great artist and the talented young chef each pursue their own passions and destiny. New York, present day: Celine, a Hollywood makeup artist who's come home for the holidays, learns from her mother, Julie, that Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso. Prompted by her mother's enigmatic stories and the hint of more family secrets yet to be uncovered, Celine carries out Julie's wishes and embarks on a voyage to the very town where Ondine and Picasso first met. In the lush, heady atmosphere of the Côte d'Azur, and with the help of several eccentric fellow guests attending a rigorous cooking class at her hotel, Celine discovers truths about art, culture, cuisine, and love that enable her to embrace her own future."--Provided by publisher.

All true not a lie in it : a novel

August 8, 2016
Hawley, Alix, 1975- author.
©2014
372 pages ; 20 cm
"A previous paperback edition was published in Canada by Vintage Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, in 2015"--Title page verso.
"A previous hardcover edition was published in Canada by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, in 2014"--Title page verso.
Determined to create a new "clean" world, Daniel Boone, who was born and raised among Quakers on the colonial American frontier, leads an expansion west across the Appalachians--first as a hunter pursuing abundant wildlife, then as a father looking for a home for his beloved wife and children--which is plagued by brutality, violence and death.

Chelsea girls

August 5, 2016
Myles, Eileen, author.
©1994
x, 274 pages ; 21 cm
"A paperback edition of this book was originally published in 1994 by Black Sparrow Press"--Title page verso.
"A novel"--Page 1 of cover.
Bath, Maine -- The kid -- Merry Christmas, Dr. Beagle -- Light warrior -- Bread and water -- My scar -- Everybody would go play cards at Eddie and Nonie's -- The goodbye tapes -- Robin -- Madras -- 1969 -- February 13, 1982 -- Violence towards women -- Toys R us -- Neuromancer -- Dog damage -- My couple -- Mary Dolan: a history -- Popponesset -- Marshfield -- My father's alcoholism -- 21, 22, 23 ... -- Quietude -- Robert Mapplethorpe picture -- Leslie -- Epilogue -- Jealousy -- Chelsea girls.
"In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms her life into a work of art. Told in her audacious and singular voice made vivid and immediate in her lyrical language, Chelsea Girls cobbles together memories of Myles's 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence, her unabashed 'lesbianity,' and her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s New York. Suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young artist's life; with raw, flickering stories of awkward love, humor, and discovery, Chelsea Girls is a funny, cool, and intimate account of a writer's education, and a modern tale of how one young female writer managed to shrug off the chains of the rigid cultural identity meant to define her"--Page 4 of cover

Three sisters, three queens

August 4, 2016
Gregory, Philippa, author.
©2016
556 pages : genealogical tables, map ; 25 cm.
United in sisterhood by birth and marriage, Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England; Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots; and Mary Tudor, Queen of France immediately recognize each other as both allies and rivals in the treacherous world of court and national politics. Their bonds extend beyond natural and expeditious loyalties, as romance, scandal, war, and religion inextricably unite these three for better or for worse. --adapted from Booklist.

Mata Hari's last dance : a novel

July 19, 2016
Moran, Michelle, author.
New York : Touchstone, 2016.
259 pages ; 21 cm
"From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy. Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom ... or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she's been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father's cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe's most infamous dancer. From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who "expertly balances fact and fiction" (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy"-- Provided by publisher.

Monterey Bay

July 19, 2016
Hatton, Lindsay, author.
©2016
310 pages ; 22 cm
In 1940, fifteen year-old Margot Fiske arrives on the shores of Monterey Bay with her eccentric entrepreneur father. Margot has been her father's apprentice all over the world, until an accident in Monterey's tide pools drives them apart and plunges her head-first into the mayhem of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Steinbeck is hiding out from his burgeoning fame at the raucous lab of Ed Ricketts, the biologist known as Doc in Cannery Row. Ricketts, a charismatic bohemian, quickly becomes the object of Margot's fascination. Despite Steinbeck's protests and her father's misgivings, she wrangles a job as Ricketts's sketch artist and begins drawing the strange and wonderful sea creatures he pulls from the waters of the bay. Unbeknownst to Margot, her father is also working with Ricketts. He is soliciting the biologist's advice on his most ambitious and controversial project to date: the transformation of the Row's largest cannery into an aquarium. When Margot begins an affair with Ricketts, she sets in motion a chain of events that will affect not just the two of them, but the future of Monterey as well. Alternating between past and present, Monterey Bay explores histories both imagined and actual to create an unforgettable portrait of an exceptional woman, a world-famous aquarium, and the beloved town they both call home.--Provided by publisher.

The imperial wife : [a novel]

July 18, 2016
Reyn, Irina, author.
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2016.
276 pages ; 24 cm
"The Imperial Wife follows the lives of two women, one in contemporary New York City and the other in eighteenth-century Russia. Tanya Kagan, a specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia's wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband. As questions arise over the provenance of the Order and auction fever kicks in, Reyn takes us into the world of Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th-century woman who may have owned the priceless artifact, and who it turns out faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her own life. The Imperial Wife asks what female ambition means, today and in the past, and whether a marriage can withstand an ambitious wife"-- Provided by publisher.

The Hamilton affair : a novel

July 11, 2016
Cobbs Hoffman, Elizabeth, author.
New York : Arcade Publishing, [2016]
403 pages ; 24 cm

Dating tips for the unemployed

July 7, 2016
Smyles, Iris, author.
Boston : Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
288 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
"Iris Smyles's Dating Tips for the Unemployed is an urban odyssey, a wistful, wise, and wry look back at a young woman trying to find her home in the world. "Iris," the narrator and heroine, guides the reader through twenty-four episodes from her life, pausing now and then for meditations on love, sex, work, loneliness, insomnia, arctic exploration, cannibalism, the Higgs boson, Greek mythology, memory, costumes parties, time travel, Rocky I, II, V, IV, VI, and III respectively, literary immortality, real estate trends, and growing up and growing old. Evoking the screwball heroines of a bygone era as she often finds herself a little lost in her own,"Iris" ventures blithely into the future, and Smyles collects the flotsam of her past. An encyclopedic, absurd, lyrical, and louche picaresque about that awkward age--between birth and death--when you feel like you don't know at all what you're doing"-- Provided by publisher.

Pulgŭn nekt'ai : A mark of red honor

June 24, 2016
Chang, Yŏng-jin, 1959- author.
Sŏul : Mulmangch'o, 2015.
368 pages ; 23 cm
Fiction.

Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray

June 21, 2016
Love, Dorothy, 1949- author.
Nashville, Tennessee : Thomas Nelson, [2016]
386 pages ; 22 cm
"Mary Anna Custis Lee is a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, wife of Confederate General Robert E Lee, and heiress to Virginia's storied Arlington house and General Washington's personal belongings. Born in bondage at Arlington, Selina Norris Gray learns to read and write in the schoolroom Mary and her mother keep for the slave children, and eventually becomes Mary's housekeeper and confidante. As Mary's health declines, Selina becomes her personal maid, strengthening a bond that lasts until death parts them. Forced to flee Arlington at the start of the Civil War, Mary entrusts the keys to her beloved home to no one but Selina. When Union troops begin looting the house, it is Selina who confronts their commander and saves many of its historic treasures."-- Provided by publisher.

The painter of souls

June 17, 2016
Kazan, Philip, author.
©2015
261 pages ; 24 cm
"A novel"--Dust jacket.
Follows the journey of the boy who would become the painter Fra Filippo.

The whale : a love story

June 14, 2016
Beauregard, Mark.
©2016
281 pages ; 22 cm
"A rich and captivating novel set amid the witty, high-spirited literary society of 1850s New England, offering a new window on Herman Melville's emotionally charged relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne and how it transformed his masterpiece, Moby-Dick In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end--his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin's farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic--and his life turns upside down. The Whale chronicles the fervent love affair that grows out of that serendipitous afternoon. Already in debt, Melville recklessly borrows money to purchase a local farm in order to remain near Hawthorne, his newfound muse. The two develop a deep connection marked by tensions and estrangements, and feelings both shared and suppressed. Melville dedicated Moby-Dick to Hawthorne, and Mark Beauregard's novel fills in the story behind that dedication with historical accuracy and exquisite emotional precision, reflecting his nuanced reading of the real letters and journals of Melville, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others. An exuberant tale of longing and passion, The Whale captures not only a transformative relationship--long the subject of speculation--between two of our most enduring authors, but also their exhilarating moment in history, when a community of high-spirited and ambitious writers was creating truly American literature for the first time."--Amazon.com.

Bev : a novel

June 13, 2016
Williams, Andrea.
New York : Karen Hunter Publishing : Gallery Books, 2016.
260 pages ; 21 cm
"Based on a book by Meredith Kopald."--T.p.
"Based on the real life story of a little-known figure in the Civil Rights Movement: a white social worker who left the comforts of her life in New York City to travel to the segregated South, comes BEV, a fictionalized account of the strength, compassion, and dangers people faced in their fight to help African Americans achieve equality. After watching the horrifying images of dogs, hoses, and violence on March 7, 1965 aka Bloody Sunday, Bev Luther, a white Northerner, determined she could no longer afford to remain a spectator. As a social worker, she knew she was needed to help and march alongside African Americans, Asians, and Latinos in the quest for equality. Along with several other Northerners--mostly whites--she decided to travel down to the tense segregated South right in the middle of an era that would change America forever. With a clear understanding of history and evocative language, BEV is the fictionalized account of those who answered the call to help their fellow citizens earn the right to vote"-- Provided by publisher.

Marlene

May 27, 2016
Gortner, C. W., author.
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
406 pages ; 24 cm
"Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path on her own terms."---Provided by publisher.

A country road, a tree

May 12, 2016
Baker, Jo, author.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
289 pages ; 25
"This is a Borzoi book."
"When war breaks out in Europe in 1939, Samuel Beckett was a young, unknown writer who journeys from his home in neutral Ireland to conflict-ridden Paris and is drawn into the maelstrom. With him we experience the hardships yet stubborn vibrancy at the heart of Europe during the Nazis' rise to power; his friendships with James Joyce and other luminaries; his quietly passionate devotion to the Frenchwoman who will become his lifelong companion; his secret work for the French Resistance and narrow escapes from the Gestapo; his flight from occupied Paris to the countryside; and the rubble of his life after liberation. And through it all we are witness to workings of a uniquely brilliant mind struggling to create a language that will express his experience of this shattered world."--Provided by publisher.

The noise of time

May 9, 2016
Barnes, Julian, author.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
xi, 201 pages ; 20 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.

The honeymoon

May 3, 2016
Smith, Dinitia, author.
New York : Other Press, 2016.
415 pages ; 22 cm
"Based on the life of George Eliot, famed author of Middlemarch, this captivating account of Eliot's passions and tribulations explores the nature of love in its many guises. Dinitia Smith's spellbinding novel recounts George Eliot's honeymoon in Venice in June 1880 following her marriage to a handsome young man twenty years her junior. When she agreed to marry John Walter Cross, Eliot was recovering from the death of George Henry Lewes, her beloved companion of twenty-six years. Eliot was bereft: left at the age of sixty to contemplate profound questions about her physical decline, her fading appeal, and the prospect of loneliness. In her youth, Mary Ann Evans--who would later be known as George Eliot--was a country girl, considered too plain to marry, so she educated herself in order to secure a livelihood. In an era when female novelists were objects of wonder, she became the most famous writer of her day--with a male nom de plume. The Honeymoon explores different kinds of love, and of the possibilities of redemption and happiness even in an imperfect union. Smith integrates historical truth with her own rich rendition of Eliot's inner voice, crafting a page-turner that is as intelligent as it is gripping"-- Provided by publisher.

The fall of man in Wilmslow

May 2, 2016
Lagercrantz, David, author.
New York : Knopf, 2016.
353 pages ; 24 cm
"An electrifying thriller that opens with Alan Turing's suicide, and then opens out to take in a young detective's awakening to painful secrets about his own life and the life of his country. It's 1954. Several English nationals have defected to the USSR, while a witch-hunt for homosexuals rages across Britain. In these circumstances, no one is surprised when a mathematician by the name of Alan Turing, is found dead in his home: it is widely assumed that he committed suicide, unable to cope with the humiliation of a criminal conviction for homosexuality. But young Detective Sergeant Leonard Corell, who had always dreamt of a career in higher mathematics, suspects greater forces are involved. In the face of opposition from his superiors, he begins to assemble the pieces of a puzzle that lead him to one of the most closely guarded secrets of the war: the Bletchley Park operation to crack the Nazis' Enigma Code. But he is also about to be rocked by two startling developments in his own life, one of which will find him being pursued as a threat to national security."-- Provided by publisher.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins' all-time greatest hits : a novel

April 29, 2016
Binelli, Mark.
New York : Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
201 pages ; 22 cm
"He came on stage in a coffin, carried by pallbearers, drunk enough to climb into his casket every night. Onstage he wore a cape, clamped a bone to his nose, and carried a staff topped with a human skull. Offstage, he insisted he'd been raised by a tribe of Blackfoot Indians, that he'd joined the army at fourteen, that he'd defeated the middleweight boxing champion of Alaska, that he'd fathered seventy-five illegitimate children. The R & B wildman Screamin' Jay Hawkins only had a single hit, the classic "I Put a Spell On You," and was often written off as a clownish novelty act -- or worse, an offense to his race -- but his myth-making was legendary. In his second novel, Mark Binelli embraces the man and the legend to create a hilarious, tragic, fantastical portrait of this unlikeliest of protagonists. Hawkins saw his life story as a wild picaresque, and Binelli's novel follows suit, tackling the subject in a dazzling collage-like style. At Rolling Stone, Binelli has profiled some of the greatest musicians of our time, and this novel deftly plays with the inordinate focus on "authenticity" in so much music writing about African-Americans. An entire novel built around a musician as deliberately inauthentic as Screamin' Jay Hawkins thus becomes a sort of subversive act, as well as an extremely funny and surprisingly moving one"--Provided by publisher.

Death on a starry night

April 26, 2016
Draine, Betsy, 1945- author.
©2016
211 pages ; 22 cm.
When art historian Nora Barnes returns to France for a Van Gogh conference in the charming medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, she's expecting a vigorous debate about whether the famed artist's suicide was actually a homicide. But on the night before the conference, an elderly French woman who'd promised to reveal important evidence is found head down in the village fountain, and her Chanel briefcase is nowhere to be seen.

The dark lady's mask

April 19, 2016
Sharratt, Mary, 1964- author.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
xi, 398 pages ; 24 cm
Disguising herself as a man to escape her loveless marriage and enjoy the exclusive freedoms of men, aspiring writer Aemilia Lanier falls in love and runs away with ragged poet William Shakespeare, with whom she secretly writes plays that bring him fame years later.

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