In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. 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 have become 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 and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule - galvanised by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her. A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival. It's a genre-defying masterpiece that may very well rewire your brain.
Brilliant and incendiary . . . The Book of Joan has the same unflinching quality as earlier works by Josephine Saxton, Doris Lessing, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin and J.G. Ballard. Yet it's also radically new, full of maniacal invention and page-turning momentum . . . A rich, heady concoction, rippling with provocative ideas -- Jeff VanderMeer * * New York Times * * Radical, raw and inventive * * Esquire * * The Book of Joan is something new altogether . . . Kaleidoscopic, lyric . . . The Book of Joan shows off Yuknavitch's imagination and her gift for crafting sonorous sentences * * Huffington Post * * A raucous celebration, a searing condemnation, and fiercely imaginative retelling of Joan of Arc's transcendent life -- Roxane Gay Yuknavitch will draw you into the future * * ELLE * * As ferociously intelligent as it is heart-wrenchingly humane, as generous as it is relentless, as irresistible as it is important . . . Genius -- Cheryl Strayed All my youth I gloried in the wild, exulting, rollercoaster prose and questing narratives of Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac, but cringed at the misogyny; couldn't we have the former without the latter? We can, because: Lidia Yuknavitch. Buckle your seat belts; it's gonna be a wild feminist ride -- Rebecca Solnit With her verve and bold imagination, she's earned the throne left empty since the death of David Foster Wallace -- Chuck Palahniuk While delivering an entirely new world and also putting forth a powerful treatise on the way we live now, The Book of Joan is one of those dystopian novels that you can't help thinking might be too eerily real to be just fiction * * Newsweek * * Now is a fine time for tales of women's resistance, which, above all else, is what The Book of Joan has on offer . . . This world's Joan is scarred and strong, a fully adult Katniss Everdeen with bigger guns * * Los Angeles Review of Books * *
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 and the Reader's Choice Award), the novel Dora: A Headcase, and three books of short fiction. 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. Lidia received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives and teaches in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.@LidiaYuknavitch