DURING THE REIGN OF THE QUEEN OF PERSIA

By Joan Chase, Introduction by Meghan O'Rourke
NYRB ClassicsApril 2014
www.nybooks.com/books

Trade Paperback240 pages, $14.95, ISBN: 9781590177150
Subject: Women’s Lives / Relationships / Regional

Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction by an American Author

Joan Chase’s subtle story of three generations of women negotiating lifetimes of “joy and ruin” deserves its place alongside such achievements as Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. The Queen of Persia is not an exotic figure but a fierce Ohio farmwife who presides over a household of daughters and granddaughters. The novel tells their stories through the eyes of the youngest members of the family, four cousins who spend summers on the farm, for them both a life-giving Eden and the source of terrible discoveries about desire and loss. The girls bicker and scrap, they whisper secrets at bedtime, and above all, they observe the kinds of women their mothers are and wonder what kind of women they will become. But always present is the family’s great trauma, the decline and eventual death from cancer of Gram’s daughter Grace.

ANNUAL FAV BOOKS

ORDER PRINT EDITIONS

 

SPOTLIGHT

 

BY THE BOOK

 

BOOK CLUB ADVICE

 

NEWS