NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
MJCCA Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents
Sue Monk Kidd, The Book of Longings
In Conversation with Greg Changnon, Former Book Club Columnist, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Playwright
Zoom Author Talk & Q & A
Book purchases include signed bookplate! A Cappella Books is the official bookseller of the National JCC Literary Consortium.
Sue Monk Kidd, celebrated novelist and #1 New York Times bestselling author, has written that “the aim of the novelist is not only to hold up a mirror to the world, but to imagine what’s possible.” Now available in paperback, The Book of Longings, Kidd employs her extraordinary storytelling gifts and takes an audacious approach to history in giving voice and life to Ana, the wife of Jesus.
We first encounter Ana at age fourteen; raised in a wealthy family, she is rebellious and ambitious with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. Longing for the freedom to bring forth what she calls the “largeness” in herself, she defies the expectations placed on women in 1st century Galilee and engages in secret scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets eighteen-year-old Jesus, he awakens her heart, and each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. Their marriage unfolds with uncommon love, ordinary tensions, humor and pathos in Nazareth where they live for nearly a decade until Ana’s life becomes imperiled and she finds it necessary to seek refuge in Egypt shortly before Jesus’ public ministry begins. While there, she is introduced to an order of Jewish contemplative philosophers, the Therapeutae, where she will eventually find a sense of belonging and a way to express her full self.
The Book of Longings is a novel Sue Monk Kidd was born to write—a powerfully imagined, beautifully composed, fully realized story of a young woman who realizes her passion and potential against great odds. In a voice that is assured and intoxicating, the novel takes up many of the signature themes of Kidd’s fiction: feminism, the bonds between women, the search for self, and the quest for one’s voice and purpose in life. In particular, this novel explores the longings and “largeness” within women, addresses the importance of women’s stories and voices, and encourages readers to grapple with the inherent sexism in society and western religion.
How would the world be different if Jesus had had a wife who had been part of the story? Would western culture and Christianity have evolved somewhat differently? Would women and their stories have found more inclusion and equality? The Book of Longings invites readers to contemplate these questions, and reconsider the story we thought we always knew.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sue Monk Kidd’s debut, The Secret Life of Bees, spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S., was turned into an award-winning major motion picture and a musical, and has been translated into 36 languages. Her second novel, The Mermaid Chair, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a television movie. Her third novel, The Invention of Wings, an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 pick, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She is the author of the acclaimed memoirs The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, a groundbreaking work on religion and feminism, and the New York Times bestseller Traveling with Pomegranates, written with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium
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$25.00 includes book