historical fiction Archive

Writ in Water: The Good Fortunes of Peter Ho Davies

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Peter Ho Davies is the author of two collections, The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love, and the novel The Welsh Girl. His new novel, The Fortunes, is out this month.

The Past, Living

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For a person who loves writing and reading stories that take place in the past, I don’t seem to like the term historical fiction much. It tastes of dust to me. No doubt unfairly, I think of a certain kind of novel when I hear it. You know the

Review: SWEET CARESS by William Boyd

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Sweet Caress William Boyd Bloomsbury, September 15, 2015 449 pp, $28 Buy here Sweet Caress is the newest novel from the acclaimed William Boyd, author of notable works such as Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa. The novel centers on Amory Clay, one of the first

Review: MAYHEM: THREE LIVES OF A WOMAN by Elizabeth Harris

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Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman Elizabeth Harris Gival Press, October 2015 140 pp, $20 Pre-order here In the opening scene of this exquisite first novel by prizewinning short fiction writer Elizabeth Harris, a young farm wife in a black cloche hat and rummage sale dress climbs out of

Remembering Forward: History Reclaimed through Poetry

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As sure as our perceptions of history are inherited, they are also incomplete. “History throws its shadow over the beginning,” wrote the poet Richard Siken. “History is a little man in a brown suit / trying to define a room he is outside of. / I know history. There

Do-Overs: Four Strong Female Protagonists

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Historical Fiction isn’t just a man’s world. In fact, several recent historical novels have featured, successfully, stories of bold women who defied odds. In April, I moderated a panel of these writers at the LA Times Festival of Books. Their novels are vastly different, but each presents an old story—a

How to Feed Your Characters: The Food Timeline

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Writing about some hungry characters? In a time or place very different from your own? The Food Timeline might just save your bacon. Founded by New Jersey-based reference librarian, Lynne Olver, FT is a free, open-access website and research service devoted to the history of all things culinary. I