During the Reign of the Queen of Persia

During the Reign of the Queen of Persia

by Joan Chase, Meghan O'Rourke

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Overview

A multigenerational family drama about grief, motherhood, and coming of age, all taking place on an Ohio farm.

Joan Chase’s subtle story of three generations of women negotiating lifetimes of “joy and ruin” deserves its place alongside such achievements as Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women.

The Queen of Persia is not an exotic figure but a fierce Ohio farmwife who presides over a household of daughters and granddaughters. The novel tells their stories through the eyes of the youngest members of the family, four cousins who spend summers on the farm, for them both a life-giving Eden and the source of terrible discoveries about desire and loss. The girls bicker and scrap, they whisper secrets at bedtime, and above all, they observe the kinds of women their mothers are and wonder what kind of women they will become. But always present is the family’s great trauma, the decline and eventual death from cancer of Gram’s daughter Grace.

A powerful story about family ties and tensions, During the Reign of the Queen of Persia is also a book about place, charting the transformation of the old hardscrabble Midwest into the commercial wilderness of modern America.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590177396
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 570 KB

About the Author

Joan Chase (1936–2018) was born and raised in Ohio. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in philosophy and history and later enrolled in the Writing Workshop of the University of Vermont. After being turned down by several publishers, During the Reign of the Queen of Persia was released by Harper & Row in 1983 and went on to win numerous prizes, including the PEN / Hemingway Foundation Award for first fiction by an American writer. Chase was also the author of the novel The Evening Wolves (1990) and the story collection Bonneville Blue (1991).

Meghan O’Rourke is the editor of The Yale Review and the author of three poetry collections (Once, Halflife, and Sun In Days) and a memoir, The Long Goodbye. Her poetry and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere.

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