Join Savoy Bookshop & Cafe for a historical fiction event featuring Jessica Shattuck (Women in the Castle) and Julie Lekstrom Himes (Mikhail and Margarita) on Thursday March 30 at 6pm. Both authors will read from their books and answer audience questions. This event is free and open to the public.
About the Book
Women in the Castle is a deeply insightful, emotionally dazzling, and alarmingly topical story about political resistance and moral complicity, that combines piercing social insight and vivid historical details with a powerful story of three German “widows of the resistance” whose lives and fates become intertwined when their husbands are assassinated for the failed July 20th “Valkyrie” plot to assassinate Hitler. The book is inspired by Jessica’s grandparents own history as members of the Nazi party which allows her to give readers a perspective on the war that is rarely examined in WWII fiction: how ordinary Germans witnessed the rise of Hitler and the Nazi regime and how they grapple with their own responsibility for the atrocities that occurred.
About Jessica Shattuck
Jessica Shattuck is the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding, and Perfect Life. She graduated from Harvard University and Columbia’s MFA program, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, and the New York Times, among other publications.
About the Book
It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov's enviable career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously candid Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, and infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a scathing novel critical of both power and the powerful.
Ranging between lively readings in the homes of Moscow's literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Mikhail and Margarita recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country whose towering literary tradition is at odds with a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. Margarita is a strong, idealistic, seductive woman who is fiercely loved by two very different men, both of whom will fail in their attempts to shield her from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice. Debut novelist Julie Lekstrom Himes launches a rousing defense of art and the artist during a time of systematic deception, and she movingly portrays the ineluctable consequences of love for one of history's most enigmatic literary figures.
About Julie Lekstrom Himes
Julie Lekstrom Himes' short fiction has been published in Shenandoah, The Florida Review (Editor's Choice Award 2008), Fourteen Hills (nominated for Best American Mysteries 2011), and elsewhere. Mikhail and Margarita is her debut novel. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Moving . . . surprises and devastates."--New York Times Book Review
"A masterful epic."--People magazine
A love triangle involving Mikhail Bulgakov, famed author of The Master and Margarita, an agent of Stalin's secret police, and the bewitching Margarita has inescapable consequences for all three in 1930s Russia. A time when expression was censored by authoritarian rule, eerily mirroring the politcial suppression of today.