Stories Behind the History

Famous, and not-so-famous, people are featured in these new fictional biographies.

During the past few years, biographical fiction featuring historical and literary figures has become increasingly popular. Novels such as Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, which captures the story of Ernest Hemingway's relationship with his first wife Hadley Richardson during their years as expatriates in 1920s Paris and Fever, a retelling of the life of Mary Mallon, also known as "Typhoid Mary," by Mary Beth Keane are just a few examples.

The popularity of biographical fiction continues in 2015. Olympic athletes, artists, architects, inventors, actors, gamblers, and writers are featured in these new novels released this year. These books not only capture the people, but also the time periods and areas in which they lived. From the Ottoman Empire to Belle Èpoque France to Wyatt Earp's Tombstone, Arizona there's a story for everyone.

Girl Runner     The Architect's Apprentice     The Revenant     The Season of Migration

 A Novel     A Touch of Stardust     Rodin's Lover      A Portrait with Masks

The Dream Lover     West of Sunset      A Novel of the O.K. Corral     Almost Famous Women

Girl runner : a novel / Carrie Snyder
As a young runner, Aganetha Smart defied everyone's expectations to win a gold medal for Canada in the 1928 Olympics. It was a revolutionary victory, because this was the first Games in which women could compete in track events -- and they did so despite opposition. But now Aganetha Smart is in a nursing home, and nobody realizes that the frail centenarian was once a bold pioneer.

The architect's apprentice : a novel / Elif Shafak              
In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan's menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan's daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire's chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota's help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history.                    

The revenant : a novel of revenge / Michael Punke
In this story of survival, Hugh Glass is an expert trapper and frontiersman. After being viciously mauled by a massive grizzly bear and abandoned and left for dead by his fellow trappers, Hugh is pushed to survive by one thing -- revenge.

The season of migration : a novel / Nellie Hermann
Though Vincent van Gogh is one of the most popular painters of all time, we know very little about a ten-month period in the painter's youth when he and his brother, Theo, broke off all contact. In this novel Nellie Hermann conjures this period in a profoundly imaginative, original, and heartbreaking vision of Van Gogh's early years, before he became the artist we know today.

Amherst : a novel / William Nicholson     
From an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, a novel of two love affairs set in Amherst and presided over by Emily Dickinson.                        

A touch of stardust : a novel / Kate Alcott
This novel takes you behind-the-scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind, while turning the spotlight on the passionate romance between its dashing leading man, Clark Gable, and the blithe, free-spirited acress, Carole Lombard.

Rodin's lover : a novel / Heather Webb
As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice--and his muse--their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet Camille's success is overshadowed by her lover's rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Tesla : a portrait with masks : a novel / Vladimir Pitalo ; translated from the Serbian by Bogdan Raki and John Jeffries
Nikola Tesla was a man forever misunderstood. From his boyhood in what is present-day Croatia, where his father, a Serbian Orthodox priest, dismissed his talents, to his tumultuous years in New York City, where his heated rivalry with Thomas Edison yielded triumphs and failures, Tesla was both demonized and lionized. This novel captures the whirlwind years of the dawn of the electrical age, when his flair for showmanship kept him in the public eye.

The dream lover : a novel / Elizabeth Berg
At the beginning of this novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family's estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name--George Sand--and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and scandalous lifestyle.
 
West of sunset : a novel / Stewart O'Nan
In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruins, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. By December 1940, he would be dead of a heart attack. Those last three years of Fitzgerald's life, often obscured by the legend of his earlier Jazz Age glamour, are the focus of this novel.
 
Epitaph : a novel of the O.K. Corral / Mary Doria Russell
This novel tells Wyatt Earp's real story, unearthing the Homeric tragedy buried under 130 years of mythology, misrepresentation, and sheer indifference to fact.
 
Almost famous women : stories / Megan Mayhew Bergman
The stories in this collection are defined by their creative impulses, fierce independence, and sometimes reckless decisions. These heroines, born in proximity to the spotlight, struggle to distinguish themselves--Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde's niece, Dolly; Edna St. Vincent Millay's talented sister, Norma; Jand ames Joyce's daughter Lucia.
 
 All descriptions are provided by the publishers.

 

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