New Arrivals · Biographical Fiction

March 8, 2019
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

American princess : a novel of first daughter Alice Roosevelt

March 7, 2019
Thornton, Stephanie, 1980- author.
New York : Berkley, March 2019.
432 pages ; 20 cm
"Alice may be the president's daughter, but she's nobody's darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves--oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements. But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it's no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument--and Alice intends to outlast them all."--Back cover.

The horseman's song

March 4, 2019
Pastor, Ben, 1950- author.
©2004
397 pages ; 20 cm.
"Spain, 1937. As the civil war rages, Bora investigates the murder of the poet Garcia Lorca." --Cover.
"A new case for Wehrmacht Officer Martin van Bora" --Cover.
Spain, July 1937. The tragic prelude to World War II is played out in the civil war between Spanish nationalists and republicans. Among Franco's volunteers is Martin Bora, the twenty-something German officer and detective. Presently assigned to the Spanish Foreign Legion, Bora lives the tragedy around him as an epic, between idealism and youthful recklessness. Doubts about his mission in Spain arise when Bora happens on the body of Federico Garcia Lorca, a brilliant poet, progressive and homosexual. Who murdered him? Why? The official version does not convince Bora, who, intoxicated by the mystery, begins a perilous investigation. His inquiry paradoxically proceeds alongside that of Walton, his opposite number with the International Brigades. Soon the German and the New Englander join forces, and their cooperation will not only culminate in a thrilling chase after a murderer, but also in an existential face-to-face between two adversaries forever changed by their encounter. Historical accounts tell us that Lorca was arrested and executed by Franco's troops under circumstances that remain largely unknown. To this day his body has not been found.

American duchess : a novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt

February 26, 2019
Harper, Karen (Karen S.), author.
New York, NY : William Morrow, 2019.
350, 7 pages : illustration ; 24 cm
"P.S. insights, interviews & more ..."--Cover.
Reimagines the life of American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt as the reluctant and bullied bride of the Duke of Marlborough before she finds the inner strength to fight for women's equality.

Dear George, Dear Mary

February 18, 2019
Calvi, Mary, 1969- author.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2019.
322 pages ; 24 cm.
Inspired by hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, Dear George, Dear Mary explores George's relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.

Finding Dorothy : a novel

February 12, 2019
Letts, Elizabeth, author.
New York : Ballantine Books, 2019.
351 pages ; 25 cm
"This richly imagined novel tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum's wife, Maud. Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband's masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank's passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book--because she's the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of "Over the Rainbow," Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story: from her youth as a suffragette's daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her--the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy"--Provided by publisher.

Leading men

February 12, 2019
Castellani, Christopher, 1972- author.
©2019
358 pages ; 24 cm
"An expansive yet intimate story of desire, artistic ambition, and fidelity, set in the glamorous literary and film circles of 1950s Italy in July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress. Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives. Ten years later, Frank revisits the tempestuous events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits anxiously for Tennessee to visit him one final time. Anja, now legendary film icon Anja Bloom, lives as a recluse in the present-day U.S., until a young man connected to the events of 1953 lures her reluctantly back into the spotlight after he discovers she possesses the only surviving copy of Williams's final play. What keeps two people together and what breaks them apart? Can we save someone else if we can't save ourselves? Like The Master and The Hours, Leading Men seamlessly weaves fact and fiction to navigate the tensions between public figures and their private lives. In an ultimately heartbreaking story about the burdens of fame and the complex negotiations of life in the shadows of greatness, Castellani creates an unforgettable leading lady in Anja Bloom and reveals the hidden machinery of one of the great literary love stories of the twentieth-century"-- Provided by publisher.

Where reasons end : a novel

February 5, 2019
Li, Yiyun, 1972- author.
New York : Random House, [2019]
170 pages ; 20 cm
"'I had but one delusion, which I held onto with all my willpower: we once gave Nikolai a life of flesh and blood; and I'm doing it over again, this time by words.' In a world created outside of time, Li and the son who died talk about their lives. Deeply intimate and moving, this story cycle of grief captures the love and humor in a relationship which goes on now in a mother's heart, between a mother and child, even as it captures the pain of Li's sadness and loss. Written in the months following her son's death, this powerful book takes readers intimately and unforgettably into Li's grief, even as she transforms the pain into imaginary conversations of great beauty, humor, sadness and love"-- Provided by publisher.

That Churchill woman : a novel

January 28, 2019
Barron, Stephanie, author.
©2019
387 pages ; 24 cm
"The Paris Wife meets PBS's Victoria in this enthralling novel of the life and loves of one of history's most remarkable women: Winston Churchill's scandalous American mother, Jennie Jerome. Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie--reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the Paris of the Second Empire--lived an outrageously modern life all her own, filled with controversy, passion, tragedy, and triumph. When the nineteen-year-old beauty agrees to marry the son of a duke she has known only three days, she's instantly swept up in a whirlwind of British politics and the breathless social climbing of the Marlborough House Set, the reckless men who surround Bertie, Prince of Wales. Raised to think for herself and careless of English society rules, the new Lady Randolph Churchill quickly becomes a London sensation: adored by some, despised by others. Artistically gifted and politically shrewd, she shapes her husband's rise in Parliament and her young son's difficult passage through boyhood. But as the family's influence soars, scandals explode and tragedy befalls the Churchills. Jennie is inescapably drawn to the brilliant and seductive Count Charles Kinsky--diplomat, skilled horse-racer, deeply passionate lover. Their impossible affair only intensifies as Randolph Churchill's sanity frays, and Jennie--a woman whose every move on the public stage is judged--must walk a tightrope between duty and desire. Forced to decide where her heart truly belongs, Jennie risks everything--even her son--and disrupts lives, including her own, on both sides of the Atlantic. Breathing new life into Jennie's legacy and the gilded world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult--and sometimes impossible--balance between love, freedom, and obligation, while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of history"-- Provided by publisher.

The age of light : a novel

January 28, 2019
Scharer, Whitney, author.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2019.
376 pages ; 25 cm
Vogue model-turned-renowned photographer Lee Miller relocates to Paris in 1929 where she becomes the muse and colleague of the mercurial surrealist, Man Ray.

The falcon of Sparta

January 22, 2019
Iggulden, Conn, author.
New York : Pegasus Books, 2019.
432 pages : illustration ; 24 cm
In an ancient Persian empire torn by civil war, the young soldier Xenophon leads his decimated Spartan army in a confrontation against the legendary warriors of Artaxerxes II.

Learning to see : a novel of Dorothea Lange, the woman who revealed the real America

January 21, 2019
Hooper, Elise, author.
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
362, 14 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
"P.S. insights, interviews & more ..."--Cover.

Split tooth

January 16, 2019
Tagaq, 1975- author.
[Toronto, Ontario] Canada : Viking, 2018.
193 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"Publisher's note: This book is a work of fiction." -- title page verso
"A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all of this."--Inside dust jacket.

The only woman in the room

January 15, 2019
Benedict, Marie, author.
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2019]
254 pages ; 24 cm
Includes a reading group guide on (pages 252-254).
Hedy Kiesler is lucky. Her beauty leads to a starring role in a controversial film and marriage to a powerful Austrian arms dealer, allowing her to evade Nazi persecution despite her Jewish heritage. But Hedy is also intelligent. At lavish Vienna dinner parties, she overhears the Third Reich's plans. One night in 1937, desperate to escape her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazis, she disguises herself and flees her husband's castle. She lands in Hollywood, where she becomes Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But Hedy is keeping a secret even more shocking than her Jewish heritage: she is a scientist. She has an idea that might help the country and that might ease her guilt for escaping alone -- if anyone will listen to her. A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication.

The widows

January 10, 2019
Montgomery, Jess, author.
New York : Minotaur Books, 2019.
327 pages : map ; 25 cm
When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town's widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death. Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner's widow, is unaware that Daniel has died, and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter. From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena's lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be--and that his murder is far more complex than either of them could have imagined. Inspired by the true story of Ohio's first female sheriff, this is a powerful debut about two women's search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community.

The perilous adventures of the cowboy king : a novel of Teddy Roosevelt and his times

January 9, 2019
Charyn, Jerome, author.
New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, [2019]
xv, 283 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
"Jerome Charyn re-creates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, the New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon- to-be twenty-sixth president through his derring-do adventures, effortlessly combining superhero dialogue with haunting pathos. Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley's assassination, the novel positions Roosevelt as a "perfect bull in a china shop," a fearless crime fighter and pioneering environmentalist who would grow up to be our greatest peacetime president. With an operatic cast, including 'Bamie,' his handicapped older sister; Eleanor, his gawky little niece; as well as the devoted Rough Riders, the novel memorably features the lovable mountain lion Josephine, who helped train Roosevelt for his 'crowded hour,' the charge up San Juan Hill."-- Provided by publisher.

Unquiet : a novel

January 8, 2019
Ullmann, Linn, 1966- author.
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2019]
392 pages ; 22 cm
Originally published in Norwegian as De Urolige.
"He is a renowned Swedish filmmaker and has a plan for everything. She is his daughter, the youngest of nine children. Every summer, since she was a little girl, she visits him at his beloved stony house surrounded by woods, poppies, and the Baltic sea. Now that she's grown up and he's in his late eighties, he envisions a book about old age. He worries that he's losing his language, his memory, his mind. Growing old is hard work, he says. They will write it together. She will ask the questions. He will answer them. When she finally comes to the island, bringing her tape recorder with her, old age has caught up with him in ways neither could have foreseen."--Inside dust jacket.

Tell them of battles, kings and elephants

December 17, 2018
Énard, Mathias, 1972- author.
New York : New Directions Publishing, 2018.
144 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
"Originally published in French as Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d'éléphants by Actes Sud in 2010"--Title page verso.
"A New Directions paperbook original."
"In 1506, Michelangelo -- young but already renowned sculptor -- is invited by the Sultan of Constantinople to design a bridge over the Golden Horn. The sultan has offered, alongside an enormous payment, the promise of immortality, since Leonardo da Vinci's design had been rejected: "You will surpass him in glory if you accept, for you will succeed where he has failed, and you will give the world a monument without equal." Michelangelo, after some hesitation, flees Rome and an irritated Pope Julius II -- whose commission he leaves unfinished -- and arrives in Constantinople for this truly epic project. Once there, he explores the beauty and wonder of the Ottoman Empire, sketching and describing his impressions along the way, and becomes immersed in cloak-and-dagger palace intrigues as he struggles to create what could be his greatest architectural masterwork. Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants -- constructed from real historical fragments -- is a story about why stories are told, why bridges are built, and how seemingly unmatched pieces, seen from the opposite sides of civilization, can mirror one another"-- Provided by publisher.

The book of dirt

December 14, 2018
Presser, Bram, 1976- author.
©2017
303 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"Jakub Rans flees his village for Prague, only to find himself trapped by Nazi occupation. Deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he is forced to sort through Jewish books for a so-called Nazi Museum of the Extinct Race. Hidden among the rare texts is a tattered prayer book, hollow inside, containing a small pile of dirt."--Back cover.

Guerre et térébenthine

December 11, 2018
Hertmans, Stefan, author.
[Paris, France] : NRF/Gallimard, [2015]
401 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Originally published in Dutch in Belgium in 2013.
"Du monde entier"--Page 5.
"En parcourant les mémoires que son grand-père Urbain Martien lui a confiés, l'écrivain retrace la vie de celui-ci. Né à Gand en 1891, il a été contraint de travailler à la fonderie locale à 13 ans, et n'a pu s'adonner à la peinture que lorsqu'il a été mis à la retraite pour invalidité militaire. Il raconte, après sa mobilisation en 1914, sa participation à la Première Guerre mondiale."--Various websites.

Josephine Baker's last dance : a novel

December 10, 2018
Jones, Sherry, 1961- author.
New York : Gallery Books, 2018.
365 pages ; 21 cm
"Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker--actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world--in Josephine Baker's Last Dance. In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones spans Josephine's early years in servitude and poverty in America, to her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, to her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page. With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today"-- Provided by publisher.

Jerusalem's queen : a novel of Salome Alexandra

November 28, 2018
Hunt, Angela Elwell, 1957- author.
©2018
342 pages ; 22 cm.
Includes discussion questions.
"After her father and sister are killed, Salome and her mother move to Jerusalem. When a relative betroths Salome to a pagan prince half her age, she questions God's plan. When she finds herself crowned queen of Judea, she learns that a woman committed to God can change the world"-- Provided by publisher.

The Museum of Modern Love

November 28, 2018
Rose, Heather, 1964- author.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018.
286 pages ; 23 cm
"Originally published in Australia in 2016 by Allen & Unwin."
"Arky Levin has reached a creative dead end. Guilty and restless after an unexpected separation from his wife, almost by chance he stumbles upon an art exhibit that will change his life. Based on a real piece of performance art, the installation that the fictional Arky Levin discovers is inexplicably powerful. Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art sit across a table from artist Marina Abramović for as short or long a period of time as they choose. Although some go in skeptical, almost all leave moved. And the participants are not the only ones to find themselves changed by this unusual experience: Arky finds himself returning daily to watch others with Abramović. As the performance unfolds over the course of 75 days, so too does Arky. As he bonds with other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do"-- Provided by publisher.

The general's cook : a novel

November 20, 2018
Ganeshram, Ramin, author.
©2018
323 pages ; 24 cm
Philadelphia 1793. Hercules, President George Washington's chef, is a fixture on the Philadelphia scene. He is famous for both his culinary prowess and for ruling his kitchen like a commanding general. He has his run of the city and earns twice the salary of an average American workingman. He wears beautiful clothes and attends the theater. But while valued by the Washingtons for his prowess in the kitchen and rewarded far over and above even white servants, Hercules is enslaved in a city where most black Americans are free. Even while he masterfully manages his kitchen and the lives of those in and around it, Hercules harbors secrets-- including the fact that he is learning to read and that he is involved in a dangerous affair with Thelma, a mixed-race woman, who, passing as white, works as a companion to the daughter of one of Philadelphia's most prestigious families. Eventually Hercules' carefully crafted intrigues fall apart and he finds himself trapped by his circumstance and the will of George Washington. Based on actual historical events and people, The General's Cook , will thrill fans of The Hamilton Affair, as they follow Hercules' precarious and terrifying bid for freedom.

The splendor before the dark : a novel of the Emperor Nero

November 15, 2018
George, Margaret, 1943- author.
New York : Berkley, 2018.
x, 571 pages : maps, genealogical table ; 24 cm
Sequel to: Confessions of young Nero.
With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendor. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is unquestioned. But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumors of Nero's complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace--and the politicians... For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome's--and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous.

A light of her own

November 13, 2018
Callaghan, Carrie, 1980- author.
©2018
309 pages ; 21 cm
Holland, 1633. Judith Leyster is a painter, dodging the law and whispers of murder in hopes of becoming the first woman admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist's guild. Maria is a Catholic in a country where the faith is banned, hoping to absolve her sins by recovering a lost saint's relic. Both women's destinies will be shaped by their ambitions, running counter to the city's most powerful men, whose own plans spell disaster. A vivid portrait of a remarkable artist, a story of grit against the backdrop of Rembrandts and repressive religious rule.

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