THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT

Alexander Chee

From a writer praised by Junot Diaz as “the fire, in my opinion, and the light”, a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman’s rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her.

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From a writer praised by Junot Diaz as “the fire, in my opinion, and the light”, a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman’s rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all. As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue. Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation — or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Paperback
  • November 2016
  • 576 Pages
  • 0544925475

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$15.95

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About Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee won a Whiting Award for his first novel, Edinburgh, and is a recipient of the NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, and Civitella Ranieri. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, and NPR, among others, and he is a Contributing Editor at The New Republic. He lives in New York City.

Praise

“A luminous tale of power and passion. Chee gives us an unforgettable heroine and a rich cast of characters—many of them real historical figures. The story dazzles and surprises right up until the final page.—J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times best-selling author of Maine and The Engagements

“Drama and intrigue ensue in this utterly engrossing novel about opera, obsession, and the secrets we keep from others. You won’t want to miss this.” —Bookish

“Chee’s lush and sweeping second novel uses a strikingly different setting from Edinburgh, his accomplished debut, but shares its musical themes and boldness…Chee’s voice, at once dreamy and dramatic, never falters; Lilliet’s cycle of reinventions is a moving meditation on the transformative power of fate, art, time, and sheer survival.” —Publishers Weekly

“Life as opera: the intrigues and passions of a star soprano in 19th-century Paris…Richly researched, ornately plotted, this story demands, and repays, close attention.” —Kirkus, Starred Review

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