Versailles, 1686: Julie d'Aubigny, a striking young girl taught to fence and fight in the court of the Sun King, is taken as mistress by the King's Master of Horse. tempestuous, swashbuckling and volatile, within two years she has run away with her fencing master, fallen in love with a nun and is hiding from the authorities, sentenced to be burnt at the stake. Within another year, she has become a beloved star at the famed Paris Opera. Her lovers include some of Europe's most powerful men and France's most beautiful women. Yet Julie is destined to die alone in a convent at the age of 33. Based on an extraordinary true story, this is an original, dazzling and witty novel - a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman.
'I thought the book was utterly fascinating, dazzlingly original and inventive, and written with such wit and flair. the character of Julie is drawn so poignantly - what a woman!' Kate Forsyth
'An engaging and skilfully told tale of a singular character' Sydney Morning Herald
'The divine creature who plummets 'from the painted clouds' to center stage in Kelly Gardiner's gender-bending picaresque Goddess, is based on an actual historical character, Julie d'Aubigny. Scenes sparkle with period details and sensory impressions: all spectacle and shimmer, all gesture and pose, Baroque mask and mirror and role-play. Gardiner does this very well. And her goddess fascinates.' New York Times Book Review
'This is a wonderful story, made all the more gripping for being founded on truth. Gardiner undertakes to bring this ambiguous and outrageous woman back to life ... she succeeds with flair ... I wholeheartedly recommend this book as the most exquisitely-rendered historical novel I have read in years.' Historical Novel Society review
Kelly Gardiner is a writer and editor who has worked on websites, newspapers and magazines. She is currently the editor of New Zealand Lifestyle Block magazine, and is also a travel writer and photographer. Born in Melbourne, Kelly now lives with her partner on an island in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf.
Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Josephine had an exotic Creole appeal that would ultimately propel her to reign over an empire as wife of the most powerful man in the world. But her life is a story of ambition and danger, of luck and a ferocious will to survive. Married young to an arrogant French aristocrat who died during the Terror, Josephine also narrowly missed losing her head to the guillotine. But her extraordinary charm, sensuality, and natural cunning helped her become mistress to some of the most powerful politicians in post-Revolutionary France. Soon she had married the much younger General Bonaparte, whose armies garnered France an empire that ran from Europe to Africa and the New World and who crowned himself and his wife Emperor and Empress of France. He dominated on the battlefield and she presided over the worlds of fashion and glamor. But Josephine's heart belonged to another man--the mysterious, compelling stranger who had won her as a girl in Martinique.
As Sian begins to research the science of social anxiety, other factors present themselves as facets of the problem. Family, intimate friendships, self-perception and fear and longing and the consequences of love...While, in counterpoint, there is the security, the sense of belonging, she finds in the life she shares with Tom, her famous partner. Until he tells her he is leaving.
Shy: A Memoir - frank, provocative, remarkable in its clarity and beautifully written - is a book about unease: about questioning who you are and evading the answer. It is about grief, and abandonment and loss. It is about how the simple word shy belies the complex reality of what that really means.
Sian Prior is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in the arts and popular culture, a media consultant, and a teacher at universities and writers centres. She has a second career as a musician and recording artist. Sian lives in Melbourne. Shy: A Memoir is her first book.
Book club notes are available for this title from the Text Publishing website.
'A fascinating meditation on how temperament can shape a person's life.' Books+Publishing
'Charming and beautifully evoked...' Weekend Australian
'Prior captures details with prose equal to a skilled novelist...a deeply satisfying inquiry into the nature of self.' Saturday Paper
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.