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The Book of Joan: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 18, 2017

3.2 out of 5 stars 110 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this brilliant and incendiary new novel, mixing realism and fabulism, Earth, circa 2049, has been devastated by global warming and war; the wealthy live on a suborbital complex ruled by a billionaire celebrity turned dictator.” (New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice)

“Stunning.... Yuknavitch understands that our collective narrative can either destroy or redeem us, and the outcome depends not just on who’s telling it, but also on who’s listening.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)

“[A] searing fusion of literary fiction and reimagined history and science-fiction thriller and eco-fantasy...Yuknavitch is a bold and ecstatic writer, wallowing in sex and filth and decay and violence and nature and love with equal relish.” (NPR Books)

“This ambitious novel encompasses a wide canvas to spin a captivating commentary on the hubris of humanity. An interesting blend of posthuman literary body politics and paranormal ecological transmutation; highly recommended.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“Lidia Yukanavitch is skilled at writing poetically about the human body, and about nature, so this book ― her first foray into science fiction ― makes sense. It’s a retelling of the story of Joan of Arc, but in a world ravaged by radiation, and with few land-based survivors.” (Huffington Post, 17 Spine-Tingling New Books for Fans of Dystopia)

“Joan [of Arc] offers herself as the perfect figure for Yuknavitch’s new novel. Translated into a dystopian future, this New Joan of Dirt serves as emblem for all the stalwart commoners in whose crushing defeat lies a kind of inviolate spiritual victory. . . . [The Book of Joan] offers a wealth of pathos, with plenty of resonant excruciations and some disturbing meditations on humanity’s place in creation . . . [It] concludes in a bold and satisfying apotheosis like some legend out of The Golden Bough and reaffirms that even amid utter devastation and ruin, hope can still blossom.” (Washington Post)

“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)

“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.” (USA Today, Best New Book Releases of April 18)

“In a new kind of world, we need a new kind of hero and a reimagined Joan of Arc from Yuknavitch seems like just the thing.” (The Millions, Most Anticipated Books for April)

“The Book of Joan is ferocious and indelible, grappling with what it means to love in the midst of violence; and how we transform fury, agony, and history into art. It is huge in its scope, moving seamlessly, quantumly, between dirt and cosmos, and through the wormholes of nonlinear time.” (Electric Literature)

From the Back Cover

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 unites to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, nor even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience—the extraordinarily gifted Lidia Yuknavitch has written a fierce heroine like no other. The Book of Joan is an explosive work of fiction that considers what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the urgency of art as a means for survival.


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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5
110 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

georgie
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, thought provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2020
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Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Different
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2019
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Maija powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2018
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Alysson Oliveira
5.0 out of 5 stars Santa Joana do apocalipse
Reviewed in Brazil on May 18, 2017
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Jos Esquinca Santaularia
5.0 out of 5 stars Estos libros son las razones, por la cual el Genero ha crecido sus fronteras de la imaginación
Reviewed in Mexico on February 26, 2019
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Noomi
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and descriptive book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2017
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