Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022, this is the brand new edition of Selby Wynn Schwartz's After Sappho.
It's 1895. Amid laundry and bruises, Rina Pierangeli Faccio gives birth to the child of the man who raped her — and who she has also been forced to marry. Unbroken, she determines to change her name; and her life, alongside it. 1902. Romaine Brooks sails for Capri. She has barely enough money for the ferry, nothing for lunch; her paintbrushes are bald and clotted… But she is sure she can sell a painting — and is fervent in her belief that the island is detached from all fates she has previously suffered.
In 1923, Virginia Woolf writes: I want to make life fuller — and fuller. Sarah Bernhardt, Colette, Eleanora Duse, Lina Poletti, Josephine Baker… these are just a few of the women sharing the pages of a novel as fierce as it is luminous.
Lush and poetic; furious and funny; in After Sappho, Selby Wynn Schwartz has created a novel that celebrates the women and trailblazers of the past — their constant efforts to push against the boundaries of what it means, and can mean, to be a woman — that also offers hope for our present, and our futures.
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