Saturday, March 21, 2015

Jeannette de Beauvoir

Jeannette de Beauvoir is a novelist, poet, and playwright whose work has appeared in 15 countries and has been translated into 12 languages.

She explores personal and moral questions through different literary genres and is the author, under various pseudonyms, of mystery novels, historical and contemporary fiction, an award-winning book of poetry, and a number of produced plays, as well as teaching workshops and classes in writing.

Her new novel is Asylum.

Recently I asked de Beauvoir about what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished a re-read, actually, of Rebecca Stott's Ghostwalk, a brilliant novel (hence the second read—it's worth going back to!). Writer Lydia Brooke has been commissioned by her former lover to finish a book his mother had begun writing before she was mysteriously drowned. Brooke find herself in effect investigating two separate series of murders: in the 17th century, several people died who stood between Isaac Newton and the fellowship he needed to continue his studies at Cambridge, while in the present day, people who offended a radical animal rights group seem to be the ones targeted. Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery (like me, Stott looks to the past for her mysteries!) involving Newton's alchemy. Time and relationships are entangled, the present with the 17th century—and figures from the past with those who live in the present. I strongly recommend it!

I've been reading some nonfiction as well. Some of it has to do with research for the second Martine LeDuc novel, so I've been exploring literature about neo-Nazi groups. Not recommended reading necessarily, but important. And for a book discussion group to which I belong, I'm reading Amish Grace, the amazing story of a community's forgiveness when a gunman killed five girls and wounded five more in an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania in 2006. The ability of so many people to grieve deeply and yet let go of hatred and revenge is extraordinary... and would make for a far better world, it seems to me, should it become a widespread practice.
Visit Jeannette de Beauvoir's website.

--Marshal Zeringue