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Friday, March 14, 2014

9 Novels Based on Extraordinary True Stories, 
and the Merrick Library has them all! 
Please come check them out. 
I already have my favorites, how about you? 

The Man Who Walked Away, by Maud Casey (Genealogy, 2006, etc.)  A fictionalized a story based on the real-life figure of Albert Dadas, a man from the late 19th century whose strange pathology dictated to him that he walk continually, though he temporarily ends up in an asylum—and eventually walks away from that as well.   

THE BLUE FLOWER by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald. The German poet Novalis (1772-1801) was really Friedrich Leopold von Hardenberg and Fitzgerald (The Gates of Angels, 1992; Offshore, 1987, etc.) here re-creates him, his family, his doomed young lover Sophie von Kühn, and Sophie's huge family—not to mention the era all of them lived in—in the most human-sized and yet intellectually capacious narrative a reader could wish for.

BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent 

Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent. With language flickering, sparkling and flashing like the northern lights, Kent debuts with a study of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, an Icelandic servant convicted of an 1828 murder.

QUIET DELL by Jayne Anne Phillips

Quiet Dell, by Jayne Anne Phillips. Phillips (Lark and Termite, 2009) fuses the established facts surrounding the 1931 trial of serial killer Harry Powers with her imagined version of the victims' inner lives and the fictional lives of a handful of characters connected by the crimes. 

AN OFFICER AND A SPY by Robert Harris

An Officer and A Spy, by Robert Harris.  Labyrinthine machinations having to do with the Dreyfus Affair, the late 19th-century spy case that disclosed a latent anti-Semitism in French culture. 

ARTHUR AND GEORGE by Julian Barnes

Arthur and George, by Julian Barnes. British author Barnes's deeply satisfying tenth novel, based on a turn-of-the-century cause célèbre

SUNNYSIDE by Glen David Gold 

  Sunnyside, by Glen David Gold. A big, splashy novel about a little, splashy subject: Charlie Chaplin, the original movie star.

WINTERING by Kate MosesWintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath, by Kate Moses. The last days of poet Sylvia Plath, as seen by a co-editor of the anthology Mothers Who Think (as well as co-founder of's feature of the same name).


Music and Silence, by Rose Tremain. Versatile British author Tremain's eighth novel (after The Way I Found Her, 1998) is the stuff of which fairy-tales are spun, though it also exhibits a compelling psychological and moral density.

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