e-Staff Picks: The Maid and the Queen by Nancy Goldstone
Emily says: One of my favorite books from last year is now out in paperback! Goldstone delves into the myth and reality of Joan of Arc, and perhaps even more fascinatingly, she illuminates the importance of Yolande of Aragon, who most of us have never heard of, but who was hugely influential at the time. When asked why no one has written about this connection, Goldstone writes, “There is no more effective camouflage in history than to have been born a woman.”
e-Staff Pick: With our Without You by Domenica Ruta
Simone says: Domenica Ruta grew up under the authority of a drug-addled, somewhat psychotic mom, which makes her memoir dramatic enough to read like a scandalous novel — but all the more gripping because it’s true. Her portrayal is compassionate regarding her mother but also clear-eyed on the reckless behavior both observed and shared, the damaged characters who pass through their family orbit, and the dangers of a parent living on the edge.
Fiction people doing poet-y things, and poets doing fiction-y things. If you want a layman’s (nonacademic) impressions of Paradise Lost, Philip Pullman’s remembrances from hearing it read aloud in school as a child are phenomenal.