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Lidia Yuknavitch / The Book of Joan

Join us as we welcome Lidia Yuknavitch for her much-anticipated novel The Book of Joan!

A raucous celebration, a searing condemnation, and a fiercely imaginative retelling of Joan of Arc’s transcendent life. -- Roxane Gay, New York Times-bestselling author of Bad Feminist

In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground, a place to hide in caves and horde ammunition. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head, the surviving humans becoming sexless, hairless pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic cult leader who appoints himself to rule over CIEL as a kind of corporate police state. To combat de Men’s vicious acts and thirst for blood, a group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule – galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses an unnatural talent, a force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies fashion Joan into a martyr, instead of the living, breathing force of nature she is, the consequences are astonishing. And no one – not the rebels, Jean de Men, nor even Joan herself – can foresee the ways her life story will, in a brilliant instant, forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

The Book of Joan is a riveting tale of destruction and the beauty found in unlikely places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience. A book suffused with dirt, sweat, and blood, it raises questions about what it means to be human, the meaning of sex and gender, and the role of art as means for survival.

“It’s unfair to compare Yuknavitch to only female authors. With her verve and bold imagination, she’s earned the throne left empty since the death of David Foster Wallace.” -- Chuck Palahniuk

“Reading The Book of Joan is a meditation on art and sex and war. My brain is full-bloomed. Get ready, it's glorious.” -- Amber Tamblyn, author of Dark Sparkler

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the National Bestselling novel The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award, the novel Dora: A Headcase, and three books of short stories. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice. She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland, OR, where she also teaches Women's Studies, Film Studies, Writing, and Literature. She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. Her novel The Book of Joan is forthcoming from Harper, as well as a book based on her recent TED Talk, “The Misfit's Manifesto.” She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their Renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.