Author Archive

Women in Trouble: The Twelve Rooms of the Nile

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The Twelve Rooms of the Nile Enid Shomer Simon and Schuster, August 2012 464 pages $26.00 In 1873, newlyweds Henry and Clover Adams hired a dahabiyah to sail down the Nile, past the ancient temples and ruins from Philae to Abu Simbel. As Natalie Dykstra writes in her biography

Women in Trouble: The Green Shore

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The Green Shore Natalie Bakopoulos Simon & Schuster, June 2012 368 pages $25.00 In 1970, when feminists in the U.S. declared “the personal is the political,” Greece was three years into a brutal military junta, where public protest was harshly silenced with arrest, torture, or exile to remote island

Women in Trouble: The Book of Madness and Cures

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The Book of Madness and Cures Regina O’Melveny Little, Brown and Company, April 2012 $25.99 336 pages In Renaissance Venice, Gabriella Mondini is a much sought-after healer of women, apprenticed in the “art of physick” by her father—a doctor who abruptly left his family on a mysterious expedition ten

Women in Trouble: Clover Adams

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Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life Natalie Dykstra Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February 2012 336 pages $26.00 Clover Adams, best known as the genteel and witty wife of nineteenth century writer Henry Adams, was a hobbyist photographer who killed herself at age forty-two by drinking her chemical developer. However,

Women in Trouble: The Vanishers

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The Vanishers: A Novel Heidi Julavits Doubleday, March 2012 304 pages Shortly after Julia Severn, the heroine of Heidi Julavits’s fourth novel, drops out of the Institute of Integrated Parapsychology—or, “the Workshop,” an insular monoculture of clairvoyant parlor games, Fair Isle sweaters, and home-brewed tea—she is enlisted by a

Women In Trouble: Emma Goldman

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Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life Vivian Gornick Yale University Press, September 2011 (Part of the “Jewish Lives” series of interpretative biography) 160 pages $25.00 In a new regular series, Anne Gray Fischer reviews books by or about “women in trouble.” Last month, when the city’s crackdown

Lightning Rods

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Lightning Rods Helen DeWitt New Directions, Oct. 2011 $24.95 I tried describing Lightning Rods to my brother like this: “The book is about Joe, a salesman who sells glory holes and makes them a standard fixture in the bathroom stalls of corporate offices across America.” He grimaced. “This was

The Language of Flowers

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The Language of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh Ballantine Books, August 2011 336 pages (includes appended floriographic dictionary) $25.00 Victoria Jones, the troubled heroine of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel, has just been emancipated from California’s foster care system, after a childhood surrounded by “too many children and too many bottles of

America Pacifica

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America Pacifica: A Novel Anna North Reagan Arthur Books, May 2011 304 pages $24.99 In her debut novel, Anna North dares to enter the dystopic territory staked out by the ruling high priestesses of literary speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood and Octavia E. Butler: America Pacifica features an ordinary heroine with