All posts tagged: women in history

Chris Bohjalian talks with me about HOUR OF THE WITCH, how far–and yet so short–we’ve come in leveling the playing field of men & women, secondary characters, rescue dogs, more

By Leslie Lindsay A young Puritan woman caught in the crosshairs of religion, justice, and sexism in Boston during the 17th century. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ WeekEND Reading: Historical Fiction Spotlight An Indie Next Pick for May 2021 A Read It Forward Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A Lit Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book of 2021 I’ve been a longtime fan of Chris Bohjalian, ever since I read and loved MIDWIVES, so when HOUR OF THE WITCH (Doubleday, May 4 2021) came to my attention, I knew I couldn’t pass it by. A young Puritan woman caught in the crosshairs of religion, justice, and sexism in Boston during the 17th century. Mary Deerfield left England years ago with her parents, Priscilla and James, embarking on a new world, one in which religious and mercantile freedom were promised. Mary soon marries Thomas, a second marriage for him, her first. They have a stable home, his work at a sawmill provides most comforts of the day, including a servant girl. All is well–except for …

Daring resistance efforts of Jewish women in the ghettos of Nazi occupation, a remarkable portrait of resilience and strength in this tremendously researched new book, THE LIGHT OF DAYS by Judy Batalion

By Leslie Lindsay  In these history-changing times, one thing has remained hidden until now: the daring resistance efforts of Jewish women in the ghettos of the Nazi occupation. Now, let’s see the light.  ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Recently optioned by Stephen Spielberg for a major motion picture Memoirist Judy Batalion (White Walls) delivers a remarkable portrait of young Jewish women who fought in the Polish resistance during WWII in THE LIGHT OF DAYS (William Morrow, June 23 2020). Drawing from “dozens of women’s memoirs” and “hundreds of testimonies,” Batalion documents an astonishing array of guerilla activities, including rescue missions for Jewish children trapped in Polish ghettos, assassinations of Nazi soldiers, bombings of German train lines, jailbreaks, weapons smuggling, and espionage missions. These women were couriers, smugglers, spies, and also…inspirations.  “A vigorous narrative that draws on interviews, diaries, and other sources, Batalion delivers an objective view of past events that are too quickly being forgotten—and a story much in need of telling.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review But be warned: no details are spared …

WHAT IF YOU WERE DRIVEN BY REVENGE but also trauma? ANDROMEDA ROMANO-lax talks about this, the early days of psychoanalysis, & so much more in a genre-bending new book, ANNIE AND THE WOLVES

By Leslie Lindsay A modern-day historian finds herself enmeshed with the life of Annie Oakley, in a dual-timeline novel exploring the concept of revenge and changing one’s past/path. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ “2020 Best & Most Anticipated Historical Fiction” Oprah Magazine “Most Anticipated Books of 2021” by Buzzfeed  Several years ago, I read and loved Andromeda Romano-Lax’s BEHAVE, about Behaviorist John Watson and his wife, Rosalie Raynor Watson, their inhumane ‘experiments’ on children and parenting, done in what they believed was what was ‘best’ for the children (withholding affection, etc.). When I discovered her forthcoming ANNIE AND THE WOLVES (Soho Press, Feb 2, 2021), I knew I had to get my hands on it. Ruth McClintock is a historian in her early thirties and completely obsessed with Annie Oakley. For nearly a decade, she has been studying the show-stopping sharpshooter, convinced a tragic past is what elevated her status as one of the best shots in the land. But Ruth sort of loses it all–her book deal, her finance, her dissertation because her own mental health gets in …

THE PULL OF THE STARS A historical novel that is strikingly similar to our current pandemic, set in 1918 Dublin, by the bestselling author of ROOM

By Leslie Lindsay  Pregnant women quarantined in a Dublin hospital during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Historical Fiction Spotlight Barnes & Noble Book Club choice for August Reader’s Digest Book Club Pick Australian Women’s Weekly Book Club Pick  Oprah Magazine Best Book of Summer 2020 Chapters Indigo Best Book of 2020 AudioFile Earphones award for the unabridged edition I’m always alert to the work of the the lovely and talented Emma Donoghue, especially since I fell in love with her disturbingly good, ROOM. The Pull of the Stars (New York: Little Brown; July 2020), seemed to be vying for my attention, whispering, “Read me, read me,” when I came across this historical fiction set in 1918 Dublin. For three days, we are midwives in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. There’s work, and risk and a claustrophobic sense of the world browning at the edges; and yes, it has so many parallels with today’s pandemic. In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse …

Renee Rosen about her spring 2021 historical fiction featuring the vanderbilts & Astors in THE SOCIAL GRACES, plus fancy houses, what she learned, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Longtime feud between NYC’s upper-crust women, Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor, THE SOCIAL GRACES is an atmospheric and gorgeous tale of the Gilded Age. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH AUTHORS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ HISTORICAL FICTION SERIES Renee Rosen, bestselling author of PARK AVENUE SUMMER, delivers readers a peek behind the curtain at one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor’s notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age in THE SOCIAL GRACES (Berkley: April, 2021). In the glittering world of Manhattan’s upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands‘ infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor–the Mrs. Astor. But times are changing. Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America’s richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? When it carries on just as it has done for generations? Alva, who knows what it is …

What if Jesus had a wife? Sue Monk Kidd explores this and more in THE BOOK OF LONGING, plus how her primary interest was portraying humanity, how writing is an act of courage, more

By Leslie Lindsay  An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings.  ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, THE BOOK OF LONGINGS (Viking, April 2020), Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary in a much more humble abode than what she …

Barbara Linn Probst dives into the stunning world of Georgia O’Keefee with her debut, QUEEN OF THE OWLS, featuring art work from her little-known Hawaii paintings, craft, isolation, consent, plus familial roles, a life well-experienced, more

By Leslie Lindsay  A powerful take on one woman’s relationship to her body, her art, her creativity…and also her mind, inspired by the life of Georgia O’Keeffe. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITER|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ QUEEN OF THE OWLS has been selected as one of the most anticipated books of 2020 by “Working Mother” QUEEN OF THE OWLS will also be the May 2020 selection of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. Coming to nearly 800 book clubs across the country! QUEEN OF THE OWLS (SWP, April 7 2020), by debut author Barbara Linn Probst is told with elegance and precision, and empathy about what it truly means to be seen, as academic Elizabeth Crawford navigates her role as wife, mother, PhD student, and more. Until she met Richard, a professional photographer at her Tai Chi classes, her relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe’s little-known Hawaii paintings were purely academic. As an art historian, she is looking at how O’Keeffe’s work in Hawaii was seen as a ‘transition’ to her other works; she’s comparing and contrasting lush landscapes to that of the desert, to …

Now in paperback! Jennifer Chiaverini’s sweeping WWII historical fiction, RESISTANCE WOMEN, about a woman from Wisconsin, friendship, romance, and more

by Leslie Lindsay  A captivating historical novel that recreates the danger, sacrifices, and romance of the WWII era, inspired by a true story.  *COMING FEB 4th IN PAPERBACK* RESISTANCE WOMEN by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini RESISTANCE WOMEN (William Morrow, Paperback February 4, 2020) was an Amazon Best Book of June; a June Indie Next pick; and received praise from People, OprahMag.com, and a slew of other media outlets. American-born Mildred Fish Harnack is well known throughout modern Germany, where streets and schools have been named after her. A literary scholar and anti-Nazi resistance fighter, Mildred was the only American woman whose execution during World War II was personally ordered by Adolf Hitler.  Yet here in her native country, Mildred’s story is largely unknown.  Coming in Paperback Feb 4th After University of Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding …

The best, most darling children’s picture book I’ve seen in a long time–LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is a class-act, plus it’s about founding mothers, finding one’s passion, and so much more–Q&A with author and illustrator

By Leslie Lindsay  Darling picture book for young readers–and their caregivers–about the feisty and enterprising first lady, Abigail Adams. ~Books on Monday~ I loved LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams (Feb 4, 2020 Little, Brown)! In this inspiring tribute, award-winning author Barb Rosenstock and NYT bestselling illustrator, Elizabeth Baddeley bring to life the amazing and colorful Abigail Adams, one of America’s greatest founding mothers. Everyone knew Abigail was different–in fact, they didn’t expect she’d live after childbirth–but she did. She blurted out questions and she ignored her mother’s chores, she bossed her siblings around, and fell into her father’s books (and taught herself to read)…she eventually tamed herself and became proficient at the many tasks it takes to run a farm, plus baking and sewing, carding, and more. When she was 14 she was ‘promised’ to marry a minister from town, but fell in love with John Adams. He thought she was too headstrong and obnoxious at the time, but five years later, when she was 19 and he 24, they married. I …