ANNE EDELSTEIN LITERARY AGENCY
800 Riverside Drive #5E, New York, NY 10032 aeliterary.com
FEARLESS LOVE: Freeing your Heart with the Practice of RAIN
Viking (editor Carole DeSanti), Fall 2019
Proposal available; ms. due September 2018
Sold to: Rider (UK); Droemer Knaur (Germany); Belfond (France)
Options: Kosmos (Holland); Oak Tree (Chinese Complex); Basam Books (Finland); Alfaomega (Spain & Latin America); Bulkwang (Korea); Grup Media Litera SRL (Romania);VEXTA Eood (Bulgaria); Fontana Esotera (Czech Republic)
One of the most loved and trusted mindfulness teachers in America today, Tara Brach, author of the highly popular Radical Acceptance and True Refuge, offers a lifeline for difficult times. Through the innovative practice of RAIN, a core piece of her teaching, Tara offers a four-step process that can bring forth key elements of mindfulness and self-compassion on the spot. This book, filled with instances of Tara’s own experience and that of her thousands of students, is a guide to this practice. The practice of RAIN can change limiting beliefs, uproot old fears, and challenge feelings of unworthiness, allowing for authenticity in ourselves, and in our world.
Tara Brach is the founder of Insight Meditation Center of Washington, DC, one of the largest and most dynamic meditation centers in the US. Besides being known as the author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge, she is perhaps most famous for her podcasts (for which she receives 1.5 million downloads a month), and was counted by The Wall Street Journal as one of the 10 Best Podcasts for 2016. Her meditation work was featured last year in a Special health section of The New York Times, and she has been featured in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. She has been invited to consult on meditation and mindfulness for clients as wide ranging as the US Senate, Harvard Medical School, The Smithsonian Institute, the Kaiser Foundation, and The New York Times staff. Last year she delivered a keynote address at Dreamforce, the world’s largest tech conference. She is currently collaborating with Jack Kornfield on a mindfulness practice for the workplace—a 15-minute a day course, with clients including Starbucks, Facebook, and Ford.
RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha
Bantam Books (editor Marnie Cochran), 2003, paperback 2005
Sold to: Droemer Knaur (Germany), Kosmos (Holland), Rider (UK), Oak Tree Publishing (Chinese Complex); Basam Books (Finland); Alfaomega (Spain & Latin America); Bulkwang (Korea); BIS SRL (Italy); Grup Media Litera SRL (Romania); Fontana Esotera (Czech Republic); Exmo (Russia)
Winner of the Books for a Better Life Award for Best Spiritual Book
Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, brings Buddhism and Western psychology together to uncover how suffering arises from the ‘shadow emotions’ of the psyche. She deals practically and lovingly with the role of compassion in transforming parts of ourselves that we have rejected. Ultimately, this Buddhist approach of embracing the world in all of its emotional messiness, beauty, and mystery is key to pursuing a genuine path of awakening. This book continues to be a perennial strong seller, steadily increasing in its popularity over the past decade.
PICK UP THE PIECES: Excursions in Seventies Music
University of Chicago Press (editor Susan Bielstein), 2019
Music critic John Corbett, renowned DownBeat magazine columnist, gives us his own curation of the music of the seventies. In this his year-by-year chronicle, Corbett intersperses recollections of early personal high points, with selections that have evolved with the maturation of time. In this astute and passionate assemblage, Corbett witnesses the musical novelty and fusion of a decade, portraying how its music continues to come of age today in terms of race, gender, and class, with ongoing resonance.
John Corbett is the author most recently of VINYL FREAK: Love Letters to a Dying Medium, and previously of A LISTENER’S GUIDE TO FREE IMPROVISATION; EXTENDED PLAY: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein; MICROGROOVE: Forays into Other Music. He is the curator of the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive; an excerpt from PICK UP THE PIECES, ‘Sun Ra City,’ appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly. He is co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey art gallery in Chicago.
THE SCAR: A HISTORY
W.W. Norton (editor: Jill Bialosky), 2019
THE SCAR is a history – personal, social, and literary – of the experience of depression playing out over a life. The author’s acute illness surfaced in her 20’s, more than thirty years ago, triggered after she gave birth to a child who died of congenital heart failure. This is an account of facing an illness never spoken of in her Irish Catholic family, the fright of hospitalization, shock treatment, medication, and the imperfection of recovery. Powerfully and beautifully told, the author considers her story in the context of a larger history, encompassing what has changed in science, treatment, and social recognition of depression, and what still remains after the scar was formed in the navigation of life. THE SCAR fits into the market established by Andrew Solomon’s Noonday Demon, Peter Kramer’s Listening to Prozac, and Kay Redfield Jamison’s Night Falls Fast.
Mary Cregan has taught English literature at Barnard College for over 20 years (specializing in the Modern Victorian Novel, Virginia Woolf, and Irish Literature). Her writing has appeared in The Chronicle for Higher Education, and The Financial Times.
BENT BUT NOT BROKEN: A Penis Adventure
Heliotrope (editor Naomi Rosenblatt), March 2019
Playwright and actor Don Cummings recounts his journey with Peyronie’s Disease, a condition of having a bent penis that is reported to affect at least 5% of the male population. This, however, is not so much a medical manual, as it is a journey of human awareness and honesty, told with Cummings ability to reflect and to laugh. He traces the his own discovery of the disease, treatment at Sloan-Kettering, the pain and strife of sexual relations present, as well as memories of sexual relations past. Cummings’ journey takes him from hope to despair and struggle, and to an ultimate understanding of his longtime relationship with a partner. With candor and humor, BENT BUT NOT BROKEN considers the penis -- a source of personal joy, essential to understanding the male psyche and all human relations (‘And who doesn’t know someone with a penis?’ Cummings asks). In his personal journey with Peyronie’s, Cummings memoir is a cure for the human condition.
Don Cummings’ plays have been produced on both coasts: Fat of the Land, American Air, What Do Men Live By, Stark Raving Mad, The Winner, Piss Play is About Minorities So It’s Really Important, Feed the Children! and Loose Joints. The Fat of the Land was a semifinalist for the Kaufman & Hart Award for New American Comedy. A Good Smoke was a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference, and had a reading at The Public Theater, where it was directed by Pam MacKinnon, and starred Meryl Streep, Henry Wolfe, Grace Gummer, and Deborah Monk. Cummings has performed portions of BENT BUT NOT BROKEN to enthusiastic audiences at the Yale Writers’ Conference and at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles.
ADVICE NOT GIVEN: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), January 2018
Sold to: Hay House (UK); Alta (Brazil); Curtea Veche (Romania); Hanmunhwa (Korea)
Option publishers: Albin Michel (France); Bulkwang (Korea); Charaketry (Poland); Emitos SPOL (Czech Republic); YOL/Yayinlari (Turkey)
Renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. Mark Epstein presents a guide to understanding Western psychotherapy in terms of his knowledge of Buddhism, devoted to maximizing the human potential for living a better life. Our ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt as we work to be bigger, better, smarter, and more in control, is one affliction we all share. And, while our ego claims to have our best interests at heart, in its never-ending pursuit of attention and power, it can sabotage the very goals it sets to achieve. In ADVICE NOT GIVEN, Epstein reveals how Buddhism and Western psychotherapy, two traditions that developed in entirely different times and places and, until recently, had nothing to do with each other, both identify the ego as the limiting factor in our well-being, and both come to the same conclusion: When we give the ego free reign, we suffer; but when it learns to let go, we are free.
Using the Eightfold Path, eight areas of self-reflection that Buddhists believe necessary for enlightenment, as his scaffolding, Epstein looks back productively on his own experience and that of his patients. While the ideas of the Eightfold Path are as old as Buddhism itself, when informed by the sensibility of Western psychotherapy, they become something more: a road map for spiritual and psychological growth, a way of dealing with the intractable problem of the ego. Breaking down the wall between East and West, Epstein brings a Buddhist sensibility to therapy and a therapist’s practicality to Buddhism.
A portion of the chapter ‘Right View’ appeared in the Sunday New York Times
Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and the author of numerous books on the relation between Buddhism and psychotherapy, including The Trauma of Everyday Life, Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.
“Mark Epstein’s Advice Not Given continues his important, fascinating work of ‘bridging the gap between psychotherapy and Buddhism’ in exceptionally lucid language. It also offers its readers a collection of fables, vignettes, and personal revelations with the true capacity to rearrange one’s perspective, even change one’s life. I suspect many of these offerings will stay with me for the long haul, for which I’m very grateful.”
-- Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
“Most people will never find a great psychiatrist or a great Buddhist teacher, but Mark Epstein is both, and the wisdom he imparts in Advice Not Given is an act of generosity and compassion. The book is a tonic for the ailments of our time.”
--Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth
“In Advice Not Given, Mark Epstein shares his remarkably practical wisdom, born of a brilliant interchange between the fundamentals of Buddhism and the insights of psychotherapy. We all can benefit from this advice, given freely.” -- Daniel Goleman, author of Altered Traits and Emotional Intelligence
“Advice Not Given is a beautiful reminder of what matters; intimate, moving, insightful, tender and tough. It invites me to a wiser mind and an open heart.”
--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), Spring 2020
Proposal available, ms. due August 2019
Sold to: Faber (UK)
Options: Cátedra (Spanish); Hakusuisha (Japan); Guanxi Normal (Chinese Simplified)
James Shapiro, renowned for A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: 1599 (Samuel Johnson Prize) and THE YEAR OF LEAR: 1606 (James Tait Black Prize), in SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA, addresses how the plays of Shakespeare and only Shakespeare have the capacity to get to the heart of human controversy. Over the course of American history, as matters of race, gender, and immigration have come to the forefront, legendary performances of Shakespeare’s plays serve as a barometer of our deepest national discord. Shapiro, America’s foremost contemporary authority on Shakespeare, leads us through historic performances that include Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night, showing Shakespeare’s unique role in reflecting the underpinnings of history. From Ulysses S. Grant in the role of Desdemona (before he became commander of the Union army), to Paul Robeson as the first African American in the role of Othello in 1943, to Stephen Bannon’s collaborative film adaptation of Coriolanus set during the Rodney King riots.
James Shapiro is Professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches Shakespeare. His earlier books have received international acclaim, including The Year of Lear: 1606, which won the James Tait Black Prize; A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?,a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Shapiro is also the author of Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and is the Editor of Shakespeare in America (Library of America). He reviews regularly for The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, and other publications. He is a consultant for The Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Public Theater productions of Shakespeare. He has been a visiting scholar at the New Globe Theatre in London, and conducts faculty seminars at the Folger Library, where is a board member. Shapiro was a collaborator on Jacobean Genius, a series he hosted for the BBC, and also hosted for the BBC The Mysterious Mr. Webster, as well as hosting a Disney documentary, Shakespeare in Love, in 2014.
Praise for The Year of Lear: 1606:
“Irresistible—a banquet of wisdom.”
-- Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review
“A new book by James Shapiro, the liveliest and most accessible of the Bardologists...[T]he bright light he shines into obscure corners gives us the illusion that we can almost glimpse the dramatist himself…It can only be hoped that Mr. Shapiro might be persuaded to write a book for every year of Shakespeare’s life.”
--Simon Callow, Wall Street Journal
“The Year of Lear is a masterpiece, weaving together brilliant historical insight with acute literary analysis. James Shapiro is one of our great Shakespearean scholars, but he is also a master storyteller…This book belongs on the very short shelf of required Shakespearean texts.”
--Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater
“1606 was not only the year of Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra, but of plague, witchcraft and explosive politics, all vividly captured in James Shapiro’s latest tour de force… All the world, as this terrifically interesting book shows, really was a stage.”
--Sam Leith, The Spectator
REVOLUTION SONG: A Story of American Freedom
W.W. Norton (editor Julia Reidhead), November 2017
Sold to: Ambo Anthos (The Netherlands)
In his epic new book, Shorto takes us back to the founding of the American nation, drawing on diaries, letters, and autobiographies to flesh out six lives that cast the era in a fresh new light. They include a black man who freed himself and his family from slavery, a contemplative Iroquois, a rebellious young woman who abandoned her abusive husband to chart her own course, and a certain Mr. Washington, who was admired for his social graces but harshly criticized for his often disastrous military strategy.
Through these lives we understand that the revolution was fought over the meaning of individual freedom, a philosophical idea that became a force for violent change. This powerful narrative makes the case that the American Revolution is still being fought today and that its ideals are worth defending.
Russell Shorto is the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World (optioned by Ideate and Scott Free as a 6-part tv series; also to be a 2019 musical from the Dutch theatre co. New Productions). He is also the author of Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, as well as Descartes’ Bones, Saints & Madmen, and Gospel Truth. He writes regularly for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and many other publications.
“An engaging, readable, and surprisingly complete account of the American Revolution. A tour de force.”
—Gordon S. Wood, author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution
“With symphonic sweep, cinematic detail, and compelling, superbly researched real-life characters, Shorto shows how our struggle for freedom began and why it remains so sadly unfinished. If Spielberg wrote history, this is how it would read.”
—Howard Fineman, NBC News Analyst and author of The Thirteen American Arguments
“Russell Shorto shows us what a diverse, fascinating, cosmopolitan place this country has been since its founding. The colonial world of Shorto's striving Americans is a marvelous stage for ambition, avarice, and, ever so unevenly, the search for freedom.”
—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491
“How did the teenaged daughter of a British officer view the American Revolution, from behind enemy lines in New York? What did that contest mean to a shrewd, contemplative Iroquois warrior? Russell Shorto has emerged from the archives with a bold, largely neglected cast. He has set them free in a rich, prismatic narrative, as intensely vivid as it is seamlessly constructed.”
—Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of author of The Witches: Salem, 1692
AMSTERDAM: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City
Doubleday (editor Bill Thomas), October 2013
Sold to: Ambo Anthos (Holland); Little, Brown (UK); Objetiva (Brazil); Katz (Spanish); AST (Russia); Magnum (Poland); Chaek-se-song (Korea); Yilin Press (Chinese Simplified); Gusa (Chinese Complex)
AMSTERDAM: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City is an authoritative, full-bodied narrative sweep of the city’s 2,000 years. In this effortlessly erudite portrait, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, its history bound up in its unique geography making it one of the most fascinating places on earth—the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both of its senses. Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one its mayors, ‘craziness is a value.’ But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, and continues to serve as a global model for liberal thought and ideas. Shorto brings a dramatic past to life in a most humanistic way through colorful characters, bringing the history of liberal society to light at a moment when liberal values (again) face intense examination in today’s world.
“Most urban histories focus on bricks and mortar; not this one. Shorto writes engagingly about how a city can engender ideas—order, tolerance, comfort, egalitarianism, entrepreneurship—and in turn be shaped by them. Amsterdam argues convincingly that Western liberalism has been greatly influenced by this small, modest, crazy-yet-conventional place.”
--Witold Rybczynski, How Architecture Works
“…brilliant, and always enjoyable, investigation of liberalism’s Dutch roots. Shorto is once again revealed as a passionate and persuasive historian of culture and ideas.”
--Joseph O’Neill, Netherland
“The story of a great city that has shaped the soul of the world. Masterful reporting, vivid history – the past are present are equally alive in this book.”
--James Gleick, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
W.W. Norton (editor Julia Reidhead), 2019
Ms. due Fall, 2018
Sold to: Ambo Anthos (The Netherlands)
A smalltime American city, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a mining town at its peak, is also the home of a ‘smalltime’ mafia ring – Sicilian immigrants, classic in their time, who were trying to assimilate and make a living in the best way they could. This wasn’t big boss Mafia, although some of them knew the big bosses, but an everyday local business. The ‘open secret’ in Russell Shorto’s family was that the local mafia in Johnstown happened to be run by his grandfather (also named Russell Shorto) and his great uncle, who along with other relatives and cronies become the main characters of this book. The research will lie in Shorto’s still living relatives and in those who knew them, along with the local police archives, adding up to a chapter in US history, emblematic in its portrait of the growth of a mid-century small city, and in this case also a page-turner.
READER, COME HOME: The Reading Brain in a Digital World
HarperCollins (editor Gail Winston), August 2018
Sold to: Intershift (Japan); Across Publishing (Korea); Koc University Press (Turkey); Vita e Pensiero (Italy)
Options: Levne knihy KMa (Czech Republic); PatakisPublications (Greece); Business Weekly Publications (Complex Chinese); Spektrum (Germany); Cheers Publishing (Simplified Chinese)
Cognitive neuroscientist and author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Maryanne Wolf reflects on where we stand as readers and as a society in this moment of great change in the digitization of our culture. In the seven years since the publication of PROUST AND THE SQUID, Wolf has continued to chart the course of ‘deep reading,’ and the public has continued to become wary of how our culture will be affected by the infiltration of reading devices, and the speed with which we dart from one written format to another. In April 2014, a front-page Washington Post article interviewed Maryanne Wolf on her opinions about how the brain and society are being affected in our digital age, in enduring ways. While the research of this reality is still in a fledging state, there is much to anticipate, not only in terms of how children’s brains are currently developing, but also how adult brains have already begun to ‘re-wire.’ A flood of press has ensued, including interviews in The New York Times, USA Today, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, AARP, Education Week, several national radio programs, as well as the BBC and CBC (Canadian). In READER, COME HOME, Wolf will pause, in classic epistolary form, to consider where we are as a society of readers, providing a cautionary but hopeful perspective on the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities—and what this means for our collective literary future.
Maryanne Wolf is a professor at Tufts University, where she founded the Center for Reading and Language Research, which she continues to direct, and is professor in the Elliot-Pearson Dept. of Child Development. She is currently Scientific Advisor to the Global Literacy Project, based at Tufts, MIT, the University of Georgia, and the Dalai Lama Center, for which she develops content for tablets made available to children in African countries, as well as other rural areas.
“In this profound and well-researched study of our changing reading patterns, Wolf presents lucid arguments for teaching our brain to become all-embracing in the age of electronic technology. If you call yourself a reader and want to keep on being one, this extraordinary book is for you.”
– Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading and A Reader on Reading
ADDITIONAL TITLES, FOREIGN RIGHTS CONTROLLED BY PUBLISHERS
THE LEOPOLD & LOEB FILES: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Most Infamous Crimes
Agate Publishing (editor Doug Seibold), Spring 2018
Known as the ‘crime of the century,’ Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb’s murder of a 14-year old boy on the afternoon of May 21, 1924 in Chicago continues to capture the public imagination 95 years later. The willful murder committed by two highly educated, upper-middle class young men continues to ignite discussion on matters of sanity, sexuality, social entitlement, parental responsibility, and use of the death penalty today. THE LEOPOLD & LOEB FILES by Nina Barrett is a fresh look at the infamous case, based on an extraordinary collection of documents housed in the special collections of the Northwestern University Library. The documents and artifacts in effect unfold as an ‘oral history’ in the voices and testimonies of Leopold and Loeb, their parents, psychiatrists, newspaper reporting of the time, and transcripts of the brilliant defense by Clarence Darrow, known in this case as the ‘attorney for the damned.’
Nina Barrett, who was a researcher at Northwestern University special collections, is the author of two memoirs, has been the host of National Public Radio cooking show Fear of Frying, and is presently co-owner of a successful Chicago independent bookstore.
Nathan Kravis, MD
ON THE COUCH: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud (Illustrated)
MIT Press (editor Roger Conover), September 2017
Sold to: Edition Frölich (Germany)
Nathan Kravis, himself a practicing psychoanalyst, traces the history of the psychoanalytic couch over two millennia of design, from the reclining furniture of Greek symposium and Roman convivium to the sofa of the 18th century French court, to the adjustable chaise longue of 19th century sanatoriums for tuberculosis treatment. With 124 color illustrations and accompanying text, Kravis depicts throughout the ages the cultural and medical trends of the reclining position in its traditions of healing, luxury, pleasure, eroticism, and recumbent speech as a means to free association – a historic backdrop for Freud’s use of the couch in psychoanalytic treatment.
Nathan Kravis, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and is Associate Director of Cornell Institute for the History of Psychiatry. One of the leading commentators within American psychoanalysis today, Dr. Kravis has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and is currently on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis and the Psychoanalytic Quarterly. His paper, ‘The Analyst’s Hatred of Analysis’ was one of the most frequently downloaded articles in the Psychoanalytic Quarterly when it was published in 2013. He has lectures widely on the topic of the history of the couch in psychoanalysis.
“A penetrating commentary on how the eternal truths of psychoanalysis intersect with fashion and happenstance. This psychoanalysis of the couch itself is written with both humor and insight.”
—Andrew Solomon, Far from the Tree
STAN LEE: Four Superheroes in Search of an Author
Yale University Press, Jewish Lives Series (editor Ileene Smith), 2019
Ms. due Fall 2018
Few artists have had as much impact on American popular culture as Stan Lee. His creation of Marvel Comics has grown from a tiny one-man operation to a Disney owned behemoth. Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, and the X-Men wholly occupy Hollywood’s imagination and stir billions of dollars of ticket sales, alongside a bounty of comic books, television shows, video games, digital applications, and more. With all of Lee’s fame and success, however, to date remarkably little is known of his life and ideas. Liel Leibovitz’s new biography will present the artist Stan Lee, who witnessed his father’s fortune robbed during The Great Depression, who was refused adoption of a baby based on his interfaith marriage – he a Jew married to his Episcopal wife Joan – whose emotional and spiritual themes of divine election, free will, power, and dissent are the threads into understanding his work. Organized around Leibovitz’s own lifelong heroes, the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, Spider Man, and finally Magneto of the X-Men, this work will unfold Stan Lee, the man behind the legend.
Liel Leibovitz is most recently the author of the Leonard Cohen biography, A Broken Hallelujah, and some of his other works include Lili Marlene: The Soldier’s Song of WW II and God in the Machine: Video Games as Spiritual Pursuit. He is a founding editor of Tablet Magazine, for which he writes a weekly column, and contributes regularly to The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.
THE WINTER STATION
Little, Brown (editor Judy Clain), January 2018
Set in turn-of-the-century Manchuria, in the frigid frontier railway junction of the city of Kharbin, a Russian doctor seeks to solve the mystery behind the plague that is killing the city’s inhabitants. At this crossroads of civilizations, it is the Chinese workers who seem to be dying, while the Russian bureaucrats oversee the city. Already an outlier, the Russian doctor, an aristocratic Baron, is married to a young Chinese woman. As the plague victims fall, the Baron must balance his honor of Chinese medical practice with orders from the Russian general who oversees the government, his mission further tested when faced with the unlikely adversary of a modern Chinese doctor introduced by the Chinese. Fighting for his own principles, and upholding protection of his wife, the Baron’s treatment of the plague victims is steeped in secrecy and cultural suspicion. In the cold and austere winter of the plague, the Baron finds his few allies in a fellow doctor, a black market trader, and a Chinese dwarf, who engages with the wealthy in an exclusive department store. His solace is in the study of calligraphy, taught to him by a Chinese master.
Jody Shields’ stunning language transports the reader to a vivid world, based on the true story of the Russian doctor who dedicated his life to the city of Kharbin and the treatment of the plague. She is also the author of the bestselling novel The Fig Eater and The Crimson Portrait.
“THE WINTER STATION is a novel set in Russia that to its great credit reads like a Russian novel. Set early in the 20th Century, it is a story of courage, love, resilience, loyalty during a season of absolute terror. Jody Shields is a fearless writer, with the integrity of a worthy creator, and this novel won't be easily forgotten.”
-- Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone and The Maid’s Version