New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

September 10, 2019
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Out of darkness, shining light : (being a faithful account of the final years and earthly days of Doctor David Livingstone and his last journey from the interior to the coast of Africa, as narrated by his African companions, in three volumes) : a novel

September 9, 2019
Gappah, Petina, 1971- author.
New York : Scribner, 2019.
303 pages : map ; 23 cm
Gappah's powerful novel of exploration and adventure in 19th-century Africa is the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone's body, his papers, and maps, 1,500 miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there.

The lost daughter : a novel

August 28, 2019
Paul, Gill, 1960- author.
New York, NY : William Morrow Paperbacks, 2019.
460, 24 pages ; 21 cm
1918: Pretty, vivacious Grand Duchess Maria Romanov, the nineteen-year-old daughter of the fallen Tsar Nicholas II, lives with her family in suffocating isolation, a far cry from their once-glittering royal household. Her days are a combination of endless boredom and paralyzing fear; her only respite are clandestine flirtations with a few of the guards imprisoning the family—never realizing her innocent actions could mean the difference between life and death 1973: When Val Doyle hears her father's end-of-life confession, 'I didn't want to kill her,' she's stunned. So, she begins a search for the truth—about his words and her past. The clues she discovers are baffling—a jewel-encrusted box that won't open and a camera with its film intact. What she finds out pulls Val into one of the world's greatest mysteries—what truly happened to the Grand Duchess Maria?"--Back cover.

The sweetest fruits

August 28, 2019
Truong, Monique T. D, author.
[New York] : Viking, [2019]
294 pages ; 22 cm

Valerie : or the faculty of dreams : amendment to the theory of sexuality

August 5, 2019
Stridsberg, Sara, 1972- author.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.
xii, 352 pages ; 22 cm
English translation originally published in 2019 by MacLehose Press, Great Britain, as The Faculty of Dreams.
"In April 1988, Valerie Solanas--the writer, radical feminist, author of the SCUM Manifesto and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol--was discovered dead at fifty-two in her hotel room, in a grimy corner of San Francisco, alone, penniless, and surrounded by the typed pages of her last writings. In Valerie, a nameless narrator revisits the room where Solanas died, the courtroom where she was tried and convicted of attempting to murder Andy Warhol, the Georgia wastelands where she spent her childhood and was repeatedly raped by her father and beaten by her alcoholic grandfather, and the mental hospitals where she was shut away."--Provided by publisher.

The women of the copper country : a novel

July 30, 2019
Russell, Mary Doria, 1950- author.
New York, NY : Atria , 2019.
339 pages ; 24 cm.
"In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements had seen enough of the world to know that it was unfair. She's spent her whole life in the coal-mining town of Calumet, Michigan where men risk their lives for meager salaries--and had barely enough to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. The women labor in the houses of the elite, and send their husbands and sons deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren't coming home. When Annie decides to stand up for herself, and the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle"--Provided by publisher.

The vexations

July 23, 2019
Horrocks, Caitlin, 1980- author.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2019.
451 pages ; 25 cm
Devoted to her talented composer brother after becoming orphaned in childhood, Louise is forced to confront the realities of her brother's obsessions in the wake of a devastating loss.

Feast day of the cannibals

July 12, 2019
Lock, Norman, 1950- author.
New York : Bellevue Literary Press, 2019.
237 pages ; 19 cm
"In the sixth stand-alone book in The American Novels series, Shelby Ross, a merchant ruined by the depression of 1873-79, is hired as a New York City Custom House appraiser under inspector Herman Melville, the embittered, forgotten author of Moby-Dick. On the docks, Ross befriends a genial young man and makes an enemy of a despicable one, who attempts to destroy them by insinuating that Ross and the young man share an unnatural affection. Ross narrates his story to his childhood friend Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the soon-to-be-completed Brooklyn Bridge. As he is harried toward a fate reminiscent of Ahab's, he encounters Ulysses S. Grant, dying in a brownstone on the Upper East Side; Samuel Clemens, who will publish Grant's Memoirs; and Thomas Edison, at the dawn of the electrification of the city. Feast Day of the Cannibals charts the harrowing journey of a tormented heart during America's transformative age."--Publisher description.

Delayed rays of a star : a novel

July 11, 2019
Lee, Amanda Koe, 1987- author.
New York : Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, [2019]
383 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
"At a chance encounter at a Berlin soirée in 1928, the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captures three very different women together in one frame: up-and-coming German actress Marlene Dietrich, who would wend her way into Hollywood as one of its lasting icons; Anna May Wong, the world's first Chinese American star, playing for bit parts while dreaming of breaking away from her father's modest laundry; and Leni Riefenstahl, whose work as a director would first make her famous--then, infamous. From this curious point of intersection, Delayed Rays of a Star lets loose the trajectories of these women's lives. From Weimar Berlin to LA's Chinatown, from a seaside resort in East Germany to a luxury apartment on the Champs-Élysée, the different settings they inhabit are as richly textured as the roles they play: siren, muse, predator, or lover, each one a carefully calibrated performance. And in the orbit of each star live secondary players--a Chinese immigrant housemaid, a German soldier on leave from North Africa, a pompous Hollywood director--whose voices and viewpoints reveal the legacy each woman left in her own time, as well as in ours. Amanda Lee Koe's playful, wry prose guides the reader dexterously around murky questions of ego, persona, complicity, desire, and difference. Intimate and raw, Delayed Rays of a Star is a visceral depiction of womanhood--its particular hungers, its calculations, and its eventual betrayals--and announces a bold new literary voice"-- Provided by publisher.

Let's hope for the best

July 2, 2019
Setterwall, Carolina, 1978- author.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2019.
328 pages ; 22 cm

Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia

July 1, 2019
Taylor, Diana Wallis, 1938- author.
©2019
303 pages ; 21 cm
"Work of historical fiction based on biblical book of Esther, the story of an orphaned Jewish girl who marries the king of Persia and saves her people" -- Provided by publisher.

Bakhita : a novel of the Saint of Sudan

June 28, 2019
Olmi, Véronique, author.
©2019
362 pages ; 24 cm
"Inspired by the true story of a former slave who became a saint, this poignant novel explores how a human being can survive the obliteration of her identity, and how kindness and generosity can be born out of profound trauma. She recalls little of her childhood, not even her own name. She was barely seven years old when she was snatched by slave raiders from her village in the Darfur region of southern Sudan. In a cruel twist, they gave her the name that she will carry for the rest of her life: Bakhita, "the Lucky One" in Arabic. Sold and resold along the slave trade routes, Bakhita endures years of unspeakable abuse and terror. At age thirteen, at last, her life takes a turn when the Italian consul in Khartoum purchases her. A few years later, as chaos engulfs the capital, the consul returns to Italy, taking Bakhita with him. In this new land, another long and arduous journey begins--one that leads her onto a spiritual path for which she is still revered today. With rich, evocative language, Véronique Olmi immerses the reader in Bakhita's world--her unfathomable resilience, her stubborn desire to live, and her ability to turn toward the pain of others in spite of the terrible sufferings that she too must endure"-- Provided by publisher.

The last collection : a novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel

June 25, 2019
Mackin, Jeanne, author.
New York, NY : Berkley, 2019.
340 pages ; 24 cm
"Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli ("Schiap") are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel's are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli's bold, experimental, and surreal. Lily Cooper, a recently widowed American teacher, travels to Paris to visit her brother, Charlie, and try to move on from the loss of her husband. On her first day there, Charlie insists on buying her a couture dress for her birthday--a Chanel. Lily reluctantly agrees but wants a Schiaparelli, not a Chanel. Charlie's Jewish girlfriend, Ania, one of the most beautiful and prominent women in Paris, begins wearing Schiap's designs as well, and soon much of Paris is following in her footsteps. Adding insult to injury, Chanel has her eye on Baron von Dincklage, the head of Nazi propaganda in Paris, with whom Ania is also involved. Schiap takes an interest in Lily and offers the budding artist a job at her shop. Suddenly, Lily finds herself wrapped up with Schiap and her personal war with Chanel. And as their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights, another war is looming on their doorstep and getting closer every day..."-- Provided by publisher.

The language of fire : Joan of Arc reimagined

June 13, 2019
Hemphill, Stephanie, author.
New York : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2019.
492 pages ; 22 cm
"The Language of Fire is a lyrical, dark, and moving look at the life of Joan of Arc, who as a teen girl in the fifteenth century commanded an army and helped crown a king of France."--Jacket.

Templar silks

June 13, 2019
Chadwick, Elizabeth, 1957- author.
©2019
421 pages : maps ; 21cm

Paris, 7 a.m.

June 12, 2019
Wieland, Liza, author.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2019.
332 pages ; 24 cm
Reimagines the experiences of pre-fame poet Elizabeth Bishop during three life-changing weeks spent in Paris on the eve of World War II.

Gilbert Frankau's self-portrait : a novel of his own life

June 10, 2019
Frankau, Gilbert, 1884-1952.
New York : E.P. Dutton & Co., 1940.
xi, 415 pages ; 21 cm

The dinner guest

May 29, 2019
Ybarra, Gabriela, 1983- author.
Oakland, California : Transit Books, [2019]
144 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
First published in Spain by Caballo de Troya.
"The Dinner Guest is a novel, with the feel of documentary non-fiction. It connects two life-changing events -- the very public death of Ybarra's grandfather, and the more private pain as her mother dies from cancer and Gabriela cares for her. Devastating yet luminous, the book is an investigation, marking the arrival of a talented new voice in international fiction."--Jacket.

The Tubman command : a novel

May 23, 2019
Cobbs Hoffman, Elizabeth, author.
©2019
326 pages ; 24 cm
It's May 1863. Out-generaled and out-gunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines. In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people. The Tubman Command tells the story of Tubman at the height of her powers, when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War. General David Hunter places her in charge of a team of black scouts even though skeptical of what one woman can accomplish. For her gamble to succeed, "Moses" must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River. Men stand in her way at every turn--though one reminds her that love shouldn't have to be the price of freedom.

Mistress of the Ritz : a novel

May 17, 2019
Benjamin, Melanie, 1962- author.
New York : Delacorte Press, [2019]
372 pages ; 22 cm
A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II--while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hotel Ritz in Paris--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue. In March 1940, the Nazis sweep Paris and immediately take up residence in one of the city's most iconic sites: The Hotel Ritz. There, under a roof legendary for its unprecedented luxury and for its fabled residents--including Coco Chanel, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cole Porter, Hemingway, Balanchine, Doris Duke, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and now Hermann Göring--the Nazis rule over a paralyzed city. But two residents of the Ritz refuse to be defeated: its director, Claude Auzello, and his beautiful American actress wife, Blanche. They not only oversee the smooth workings of the hotel, but both Blanche and Claude throw themselves fearlessly into the dangerous and clandestine workings of the French Resistance. This is a true-to-life novel of a courageous woman and her husband who put their marriage--and ultimately their lives--in jeopardy to fight for freedom. Intimate, fearless, and moving, it spins a brilliantly and unforgettably vivid human portrait at a time of unimaginable crisis and sacrifice.

Anna of Kleve, the princess in the portrait : a novel

May 13, 2019
Weir, Alison, 1951- author.
©2019
498 pages : genealogical tables ; 25 cm.
"Published in the United Kingdom as Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets by Headline Review, an imprint of the Headline Publishing Group, London."
"Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is twenty-four, and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry commissions her portrait from his court painter, who depicts her from the most flattering perspective. Entranced by the lovely image, Henry is bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her. What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that somehow had to be terminated. Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids-of-honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn, and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace?"--Provided by publisher.

Life of David Hockney : a novel

May 10, 2019
Cusset, Catherine, 1963- author.
New York : Other Press, 2019.
181 pages ; 21 cm
"Originally published in 2018 as Vie de David Hockney: Roman by Éditions Gallimard, Paris."
"With clear, vivid prose, this meticulously researched novel draws an intimate, moving portrait of the most famous living English painter. Born in 1937 in a small town in the north of England, David Hockney had to fight to become an artist. After leaving his home in Bradford for the Royal College of Art in London, his career flourished, but he continued to struggle with a sense of not belonging, because of his homosexuality, which had yet to be decriminalized, and his inclination for a figurative style of art not sufficiently "contemporary" to be valued. Trips to New York and California--where he would live for many years and paint his iconic swimming pools--introduced him to new scenes and new loves, beginning a journey that would take him through the fraught years of the AIDS epidemic. A compelling hybrid of novel and biography, Life of David Hockney offers an accessible overview of the painter who shook the world of art with a vitality and freedom that neither heartbreak nor illness nor loss could corrode"-- Provided by publisher.

The flight portfolio

May 3, 2019
Orringer, Julie, author.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.
562 pages ; 25 cm.
"In 1940, Varian Fry--a Harvard educated American journalist--traveled to Marseille carrying three thousand dollars and a list of imperiled artists and writers he hoped to rescue within a few weeks. Instead, he ended up staying in France for thirteen months, working under the veil of a legitimate relief organization to procure false documents, amass emergency funds, and set up an underground railroad that led over the Pyrenees, into Spain, and finally to Lisbon, where the refugees embarked for safer ports. Among his many clients were Hannah Arendt, Franz Werfel, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall."--Provided by publisher.

The Welsh fasting girl

April 29, 2019
O'Connor, Varley, author.
New York : Bellevue Literary Press, 2019.
351 pages ; 19 cm
"Twelve-year-old Sarah Jacob was the most famous of the Victorian fasting girls, who claimed to miraculously survive without food, serving as flashpoints between struggling religious, scientific, and political factions. In this novel based on Sarah's life and premature death from what may be the first documented case of anorexia, an American journalist, recovering from her husband's death in the Civil War, leaves her home and children behind to travel to Wales, where she investigates Sarah's bizarre case by becoming the young girl's friend and confidante. Unable to prevent the girl's tragic decline while doctors, nurses, and a local priest keep watch, she documents the curious family dynamic, the trial that convicted Sarah's parents, and an era's hysterical need to both believe and destroy Sarah's seemingly miraculous power. Intense, dark, and utterly compelling, The Welsh Fasting Girl delves into the complexities of a true story to understand how a culture's anxieties led to the murder of a child" -- Provided by publisher.

The red daughter : a novel

April 23, 2019
Schwartz, John Burnham, author.
New York : Random House, 2019.
268 pages ; 25 cm
"Running from her father's brutal legacy, Joseph Stalin's daughter defects to the United States against the turbulence of the 1960s. In one of the most momentous events of the Cold War, Svetlana Allilyueva, the forty-one-year-old daughter of the notorious tyrannical leader of the USSR, abruptly abandoned her life in Moscow in 1967, arriving in New York to throngs of reporters and a nation hungry to hear her story. By her side is Peter Horvath, a lawyer in his mid-thirties who is sent by the CIA to escort Svetlana to America. Rootless, lonely, and bewildered by her adopted country's radically different society, Svetlana takes refuge in Arizona with the widow of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, makes a hasty marriage, and has a child. Floundering, she reaches out to Peter, her first connection in America and, it seems, the only person she can genuinely count on. When their relationship becomes more than just professional, it unfolds under the eyes of her CIA minders, and Svetlana and Peter's private lives are no longer their own."--Provided by publisher.

Courting Mr. Lincoln : a novel

April 18, 2019
Bayard, Louis, author.
©2019
379 pages ; 24 cm
"When sparky and independent Mary Todd arrives in Springfield, Illinois, in the 1840s to live with her sister, who is determined to find Mary a husband, she is astonished to find herself drawn to an awkward, melancholic lawyer with a gift for oratory. The two share ambition, an obsession with politics--and a need to be suitably married off. Always at Lincoln's side, however, is the charming Joshua Speed, a shopkeeper who became his mentor in society, loyal friend, roommate--and possible lover. Told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Todd and Speed, this witty, psychologically astute, and brilliantly plotted novel follows the threesome during Todd and Lincoln's tumultuous courtship, with all the suspense and delight of the best Jane Austen novels. Historians have long speculated that Lincoln and Speed had a romantic relationship, and here Bayard explores that forbidden possibility with deep empathy. Rich with both period detail and contemporary insight, Courting Mr. Lincoln offers smart storytelling at the highest level."--adapted from book flap.

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