Saturday, 28 January 2017

Wishlist January: Biographical Fiction

This month's Wishlist is a genre that fascinates me very much. I love reading biographical fiction, to see real people come to life, whether it be well-known or more obscure beings. That this list contains five books about five women was not my purpose, however, I do love reading books about the woman behind the man. But, for some reason, biographical fiction tend to future mostly women for some reason...

In the spirit of American Wife and The Paris Wife, Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb) reveals the story behind one of America’s most remarkable marriages—Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh—two aviators, thrill-seekers, heroes—and reveals both its dizzying highs and devastating lows with grace, insight, and stunning power.

It was the most famous marriage of the twentieth century—that of Charles Lindbergh, the handsome young aviator who changed the course of history and Anne Spencer Morrow, the shy, naive ambassador’s daughter. It was a picture-book marriage that prevailed through wild international acclaim and vilification, death-defying flights, and a kidnapping that stunned the world. Their every act and gesture was captured by an insatiable press. Melanie Benjamin deftly peers into the fairy tale that is the marriage of one of America’s most famous couples, and brings gorgeous insight into two compelling lives.

A heartrending, gripping novel about two sisters in Belle Époque Paris and the young woman forever immortalized as muse for Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.

1878 Paris. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. There she meets a wealthy male patron of the ballet, but might the assistance he offers come with strings attached? Meanwhile Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.” In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation, if not survival, lies with the other.

Novelist Anne Girard brings to life the mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life.

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.

Paris in the 1860s: a magnificent time of expression, where brilliant young artists rebel against the stodginess of the past to freely explore new styles of creating—and bold new ways of living.

Passionate, beautiful, and utterly devoted to her art, Berthe Morisot is determined to be recognized as an important painter. But as a woman, she finds herself sometimes overlooked in favor of her male counterparts—Monet, Pissarro, Degas.

And there is one great artist among them who captivates young Berthe like none other: the celebrated genius Édouard Manet. A mesmerizing, breathtaking rogue—a shameless roué, undeterred and irresistible—his life is a wildly overgrown garden of scandal. He becomes Berthe's mentor, her teacher...her lover, despite his curiously devoted marriage to his frumpy, unappealing wife, Suzanne, and his many rumored dalliances with his own models. For a headstrong young woman from a respectable family, an affair with such an intoxicating scoundrel can only spell heartbreak and ruin.

But Berthe refuses to resign herself to the life of quiet submission that Society has dictated for her. Undiscouraged, she will create her own destiny...and confront life—and love—on her own terms.

The much-anticipated second novel by the author of Loving Frank, the beloved New York Times bestseller, this new work tells the incredible story of the passionate, turbulent relationship between Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and his wild-tempered American wife, Fanny.

In her masterful new novel, Nancy Horan chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children. Stevenson too is escaping from his life, running from family pressure to become a lawyer. And so begins a passionate, turbulent love affair that will last two decades and span the world.

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Stephanie @ Layered Pages

1 comment:

  1. I like the look of all of these - more for the wishlist