New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

September 19, 2018
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Button man

September 18, 2018
Gross, Andrew, 1952- author.
New York : Minotaur Books, 2018.
371 pages ; 24 cm
A stirring story of a Jewish family brought together in the dawn of the women's garment business and torn apart by the birth of organized crime in New York City in the 1930s.

The tattooist of Auschwitz : a novel

September 11, 2018
Morris, Heather (Screenwriter), author.
©2018
262, 11 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
"Originally published as The Tattooist of Auschwitz in Australia in 2018 by Bonnier Publishing Australia and in the UK by Bonnier Zaffre"--Title page verso.
"Based on the powerful true story..." --Cover.
"In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism--but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive. One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her"--Jacket.

Patient X : the case-book of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

September 7, 2018
Peace, David, author.
New York : Alfred A Knopf, 2018.
311 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
After the thread, before the thread -- Hell screens -- Repetition -- Jack the Ripper's bedroom -- A twice-told tale -- The yellow Christ -- After the war, before the war -- The exorcists -- After the disaster, before the disaster -- "Saint Kappa" -- The spectres of Christ -- After the fact, before the fact -- Bare bones.
Haunting and evocative, brutal and surreal, these twelve connected tales evoke the life of the Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927), whose short story "In the Grove" served as an inspiration for Akira Kurosawa's famous film Rashōmon, and whose narrative use of multiple perspectives and different versions of a single event influenced generations of storytellers.

Daughter of a daughter of a queen

September 5, 2018
Bird, Sarah, author.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
viii, 398 pages : maps ; 25 cm
Maps on end caps.
"Inspired by the true story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the first woman to ever serve in the US Army." --Jacket.
"Cathy Williams was born and lived a slave until the Union army came and destroyed the only world she had ever known. Separated from her family, she makes the impossible decision: to fight with the Buffalo Soldiers disguised as a man. With courage and wit, Cathy must not only fight for her survival and freedom in the ultimate man's world, but never give up on her mission to find her family, and the man she loves"--Provided by publisher.

The impostor : a true story

August 27, 2018
Cercas, Javier, 1962- author.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.
364 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
"This is a Borzoi book."
An elderly man in his nineties, living in Barcelona, a Holocaust survivor who gave hundreds of speeches, granted dozens of interviews, received important national honors, and even moved government officials to tears. But in May 2005, Marco was exposed as a fraud: he was never in a Nazi concentration camp.

The passage of love

August 23, 2018
Miller, Alex, 1936- author.
©2017
480 pages ; 21 cm
"This absorbing novel begins as the story of Robert Crofts, whose father, after serving in World War II, returns to the family's London home psychologically damaged and abusive. At sixteen, Robert flees his childhood home for the Australian outback, where he works for years alongside Queensland's legendary black stockmen. When he comes to understand that the outback is not his true home, nor is working there his destiny, Crofts moves to cosmopolitan Melbourne. There he meets Lena Soren, who, it soon becomes clear, is the true center both of this story and of Robert's life. Lena is a charismatic, talented, passionate, and restive woman who defies convention in both subtle and exuberant ways. As her and Robert's intimacy deepens, Lena struggles to free herself from the familial demands and social norms that suffocate her. Very much in love, Robert follows Lena to the end of the earth and back again as their relationship nourishes both his artistic aspirations and her ever stronger sense of self. As a saga about a modern country defining itself through experiments in social costume and shifting mores, The Passage of Love is incisive and fascinating. As the story of a man's calling, of a woman's insistence on carving out an unconventional destiny for herself, and of the many, mysterious facets of love, it is unforgettable"--Amazon.com.

Beautiful exiles

August 17, 2018
Clayton, Meg Waite, author.
Seattle, Washington: Lake Union Publishing, [2018]
384 pages ; 22 cm
Key West, 1936. Headstrong, accomplished journalist Martha Gellhorn is confident with words but less so with men when she meets disheveled literary titan Ernest Hemingway in a dive bar. Their friendship--forged over writing, talk, and family dinners--flourishes into something undeniable in Madrid while they're covering the Spanish Civil War. Martha reveres him. The very married Hemingway is taken with Martha--her beauty, her ambition, and her fearless spirit. And as Hemingway tells her, the most powerful love stories are always set against the fury of war. The risks are so much greater. They're made for each other. With their romance unfolding as they travel the globe, Martha establishes herself as one of the world's foremost war correspondents, and Hemingway begins the novel that will win him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Beautiful Exiles is a stirring story of lovers and rivals, of the breathless attraction to power and fame, and of one woman--ahead of her time--claiming her own identity from the wreckage of love.

The queen's promise

August 17, 2018
Vantrease, Brenda Rickman, author.
London : Severn House Publishers, 2018.
230 pages ; 23 cm
The enthralling story of two remarkable women caught up in the maelstrom of the English Civil War. February, 1642. With the King and Parliament at loggerheads, England is rushing headlong into a brutal and bloody war. Caught up in the turbulence are two formidable women who face difficult and dangerous times ahead. Forced to abandon her children and leave for foreign shores, the extravagant and unpopular Queen Henrietta Maria discovers that she cannot rely on the loyalty of her former friends and relatives in the royal courts of Europe. Meanwhile, her friend and former lady-in-waiting, the beautiful Countess of Carlisle, determines to remain loyal to the King, despite his craven betrayal of her lover and protector. Separated from their menfolk, these two very different women determine to do what they can to survive in a world where brother is at war with brother, a world where no one can be trusted. But the war will change both their lives in ways they could never have imagined.

The edge of hell

August 13, 2018
Johnstone, William W., author.
©2014
312 pages ; 17 cm
A beautiful woman, a powerful Mexican rancher, and an exotic new breed of cattle come to John Slaughter's San Bernardino Valley ranch, along with the prospect of making a small fortune. While Slaughter's men are out keeping the peace in Tombstone, an act of betrayal turns up the heat under his own roof, and a killer is stalking Slaughter's wealthy Mexican guest. Indians suddenly savagely attack Slaughter's ranch, but it is only the first shot in a bigger, blazing Arizona bloodbath. The real enemy is coming next: armed to the teeth, driven by vengeance, and deep into a killing spree that only John Slaughter alone can stop. --Amazon.

Rust & stardust : a novel

August 8, 2018
Greenwood, T. (Tammy), author.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
356 pages ; 24 cm
Camden, NJ, 1948. When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth's, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he's an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute, unless she does as he says. This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way. Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita, this heart-pounding story by award-winning author T. Greenwood at last gives a voice to Sally herself.

Final resting place

August 1, 2018
Putnam, Jonathan F., author.
©2018
282 pages ; 25 cm.
"Twenty-nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln has spent his entire adult life running from his past--from the poverty of the dirt-floor log cabin where he was raised, from the dominion of his uneducated father, and from a failed early courtship. But now, Lincoln's past is racing back to haunt him. It is the summer of 1838, and Springfield is embroiled in a tumultuous, violent political season." -- provided by publisher.

Chariot on the mountain

July 31, 2018
Ford, Jack, 1950- author.
©2018
294 pages ; 24 cm
"Based on little known true events"--Dust jacket.
Two decades before the Civil War, a middle-class farmer named Samuel Maddox lies on his deathbed. Elsewhere in his Virginia home, a young woman named Kitty knows her life is about to change. She is one of the Maddox family's slaves--and Samuel's biological daughter. When Samuel's wife, Mary, inherits her husband's property, she will own Kitty, too, along with Kitty's three small children. Already in her fifties and with no children of her own, Mary Maddox has struggled to accept her husband's daughter, a strong-willed, confident, educated woman who works in the house and has been treated more like family than slave. After Samuel's death, Mary decides to grant Kitty and her children their freedom, and travels with them to Pennsylvania, where she will file papers declaring Kitty's emancipation. Helped on their perilous flight by Quaker families along the Underground Railroad, they finally reach the free state. But Kitty is not yet safe. Dragged back to Virginia by a gang of slave catchers led by Samuel's own nephew, who is determined to sell her and her children, Kitty takes a defiant step: charging the younger Maddox with kidnapping and assault. On the surface, the move is brave yet hopeless. But Kitty has allies--her former mistress, Mary, and Fanny Withers, a rich and influential socialite who is persuaded to adopt Kitty's cause and uses her resources and charm to secure a lawyer. The sensational trial that follows will decide the fate of Kitty and her children--and bond three extraordinary yet very different women together in their quest for justice.

The Romanov empress : a novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna

July 10, 2018
Gortner, C. W., author.
New York : Ballantine Books, [2018]
427 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Marrying the Romanov heir, nineteen-year-old Danish princess Minnie becomes empress of Russia and treads a perilous path of compromise in a beloved but resistance-torn country where her son becomes the last tsar.

The frontman : a novel

July 10, 2018
Bahar, Ron, author.
Tempe, Arizona : SparkPress, 2018.
245 pages ; 22 cm
"Ron Bahar is an insecure, self-deprecating, seventeen-year-old Nebraskan striving to please his Israeli immigrant parents, Ophira and Ezekiel, while remaining true to his own dreams. During his senior year of high school, he begins to date longtime crush and non-Jewish girl Amy Andrews--a forbidden relationship he hides from his parents. But that's not the only complicated part of Ron's life: he's also struggling to choose between his two passions, medicine and music. As time goes on, he becomes entangled in a compelling world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Will he do the right thing?"--Back cover.

History of violence

June 27, 2018
Louis, Édouard, author.
©2018
212 pages ; 20 cm
"...On Christmas Eve 2012, in Paris, the novelist Édouard Louis was raped and almost murdered by a man he had just met. This act of violence left Louis shattered; its aftermath made him a stranger to himself and sent him back to the village, the family, and the past he had sworn to leave behind. A bestseller in France; challenged and vindicated in the courts; History of Violence is a short nonfiction novel in the tradition of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, but with the victim as its subject. Moving seamlessly and hypnotically between past and present, between Louis's voice and the voice of an imagined narrator, History of Violence has the exactness of a police report and the searching, unflinching curiosity of memoir at its best. It records not only the casual racism and homophobia of French society but also their subtle effects on lovers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. It represents a great step forward for a young writer whose acuity, skill, and depth are unmatched by any novelist of his generation, in French or English."--Amazon.com.

My German brother

June 20, 2018
Buarque, Chico, 1944- author.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
199 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
"Originally published in Portuguese in 2014 by Companhia das Letras, Brazil, as O Irmão Alemão."
"An uproarious novel about a Brazilian man's often sordid, lifelong search for a possibly imaginary half-brother, born in Germany just before the Second World War"--Provided by publisher.

The removes

June 18, 2018
Soli, Tatjana, author.
New York : Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
370 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Traces the intertwining stories of Civil War hero George Armstrong Custer, his frontierswoman wife Libbie, and fifteen-year-old Anne Cummins, a captive of the Cheyenne after surviving a homestead attack.

Never anyone but you

June 7, 2018
Thomson, Rupert, author.
New York : Other Press, [2018]
350 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
In the years preceding World War I, two young women meet, by chance, in a provincial town in France. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy seventeen-year-old with a talent for drawing, is completely entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, who comes from a family of wealthy Jewish intellectuals. They embark on a clandestine love affair, terrified they will be discovered, but then, in an astonishing twist of fate, the mother of one marries the father of the other. As "sisters" they are finally free of suspicion, and, hungry for a more stimulating milieu, they move to Paris at a moment when art, literature, and politics blend in an explosive cocktail. Having reinvented themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, they move in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dalí to André Breton, and produce provocative photographs that still seem avant-garde today. In the 1930s, with the rise of anti-Semitism and threat of fascism, they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is on this idyllic island that they confront their destiny, creating a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their lives in jeopardy.

Side by side

June 7, 2018
Walsh, Jenni L., author.
New York : Forge, 2018.
320 pages ; 24 cm.
Sequel to: Becoming Bonnie.
Texas: 1931. It's the height of the Great Depression, and Bonnie is miles from Clyde. When Clyde returns from prison damaged and distant, unable to keep a job, and dogged by the cops, Bonnie knows the law will soon come for him. But there's only one road forward for her. If the world won't give them their American Dream, they'll just have to take it.

Another side of paradise : a novel

June 4, 2018
Koslow, Sally.
©2018
340 pages ; 24 cm
In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham's star is on the rise, while literary wonder boy F. Scott Fitzgerald's career is slowly drowning in booze. But the once-famous author, desperate to make money penning scripts for the silver screen, is charismatic enough to attract the gorgeous Miss Graham, a woman who exposes the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own. Like Fitzgerald's hero Jay Gatsby, Graham has meticulously constructed a life far removed from the poverty of her childhood in London's slums. And like Gatsby, the onetime guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success; she is feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries. A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed Zelda, Fitzgerald fell hard for his "Shielah" (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet softhearted woman--both a fool for love and nobody's fool--who would stay with him and help revive his career until his tragic death three years later. Working from Sheilah's memoirs, interviews, and letters, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair and Graham's dramatic transformation in London, bringing Graham and Fitzgerald gloriously to life with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood.

The wreckage of Eden

June 4, 2018
Lock, Norman, 1950- author.
New York : Bellevue Literary Press, 2018.
285 pages ; 19 cm
When U.S. Army chaplain Robert Winter first meets Emily Dickinson, he is fascinated by the brilliance of the strange girl immersed in her botany lessons. She will become his confidante, obsession, and muse over the years as he writes to her of his friendship with the aspiring politician Abraham Lincoln, his encounter with the young newspaperman Samuel Clemens, and his crisis of conscience concerning the radical abolitionist John Brown.

A view of the empire at sunset

May 25, 2018
Phillips, Caryl, author.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
324 pages ; 22 cm
Caryl Phillips's A View of the Empire at Sunset is the sweeping story of the life of the woman who became known to the world as Jean Rhys. Born Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams in Dominica at the height of the British Empire, Rhys lived in the Caribbean for only sixteen years before going to England. A View of the Empire at Sunset is a look into her tempestuous and unsatisfactory life in Edwardian England, 1920s Paris, and then again in London. Her dream had always been to one day return home to Dominica. In 1936, a forty-five-year-old Rhys was finally able to make the journey back to the Caribbean. Six weeks later, she boarded a ship for England, filled with hostility for her home, never to return. Phillips's gripping new novel is equally a story about the beginning of the end of a system that had sustained Britain for two centuries but that wreaked havoc on the lives of all who lived in the shadow of the empire: both men and women, colonizer and colonized. A true literary feat, A View of the Empire at Sunset uncovers the mysteries of the past to illuminate the predicaments of the present, getting at the heart of alienation, exile, and family by offering a look into the life of one of the greatest storytellers of the twentieth century and retelling a profound story that is singularly its own.

Ike and Kay

May 25, 2018
MacManus, James, author.
New York : The Overlook Press, 2018.
307 pages ; 24 cm
Reimagines the affair between General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby as they traveled through Europe together on the eve of the final assault on Nazi Germany.

The optickal illusion : a novel

May 25, 2018
Halliburton, Rachel, author.
New York : Overlook Duckworth, 2018.
382 pages ; 24 cm
"It is 1797 and in Georgian London, nothing is certain anymore: the future of the monarchy is in question, the city is aflame with conspiracies, and the French could invade any day. Amidst this feverish atmosphere, the American painter Benjamin West is visited by a dubious duo comprised of a blundering father and vibrant daughter, the Provises, who claim they have a secret that has obsessed painters for centuries: the Venetian techniques of master painter Titian. West was once the most celebrated painter in London, but he hasn’t produced anything of note in years, so against his better judgment he agrees to let the intriguing Ann Jemima Provis visit his studio and demonstrate the techniques from the document. What unravels reveals more than West has ever understood―about himself, the treachery of the art world, and the seductive promise of greatness."--Inside dust jacket.

My mother's son : a novel

May 18, 2018
Hirshberg, David, author.
Bedford, New York : Fig Tree Books, 2018.
ix, 357 pages ; 24 cm
"Hirshberg's debut novel packs both emotional punch and a vivid portrait of Jewish American life in post-WWII Boston...It is a story told by a radio raconteur revisiting his past in post-World War II Boston, the playground and battleground for two brothers whose lives are transformed by discoveries they never could have imagined. From the opening line of the book, "When you're a kid, they don't always tell you the truth," the stage is set for this riveting coming-of-age story that plays out against the backdrop of the Korean War, the aftermath of the Holocaust, the polio epidemic, the relocation of a baseball team, and the shenanigans of politicians and businessmen. Hirshberg deftly weaves together events, characters, and clues and creates a rich tapestry of betrayal, persecution, death, loyalty, and unconditional love that resonates with today's America.

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