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The Madwomen of Paris: A Novel

The Madwomen of Paris: A Novel

by Jennifer Cody Epstein
The Madwomen of Paris: A Novel

The Madwomen of Paris: A Novel

by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Hardcover

$28.00
Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on July 18, 2023

Overview

A young woman with amnesia falls under the influence of a powerful doctor in Paris’s notorious women’s asylum, where she must fight to reclaim dangerous memoriesand even more perilously, her sanityin this gripping historical novel inspired by true events, from the bestselling author of Wunderland.

“I didn’t see her the day she came to the asylum. Looking back, this sometimes strikes me as unlikely. Impossible, even, given how utterly her arrival would upend the already chaotic order of things at the Salpêtrière—not to mention change the course of my own life there.”

When Josephine arrives at the Salpêtrière she is covered in blood and badly bruised. Suffering from near-complete amnesia, she is diagnosed with what the Paris papers are calling “the epidemic of the age”: hysteria. It is a disease so baffling and widespread that Doctor Jean-Martine Charcot, the asylum’s famous director, devotes many of his popular public lectures to the malady. To Charcot’s delight, Josephine also proves extraordinarily susceptible to hypnosis, the tool he uses to unlock hysteria’s myriad (and often sensational) symptoms. Soon Charcot is regularly featuring Josephine on his stage, entrancing the young woman into fantastical acts and hallucinatory fits before enraptured audiences and eager newsmen—many of whom feature her on their paper’s front pages.

For Laure, a lonely asylum attendant assigned to Josephine’s care, Charcot’s diagnosis seems a godsend. A former hysteric herself, she knows better than most that life in the Salpêtrière’s Hysteria Ward is far easier than in its dreaded Lunacy division, from which few inmates ever return. But as Josephine’s fame as Charcot’s “star hysteric” grows, her memory starts to returnand with it, images of a horrific crime she believes she’s committed. Haunted by these visions, and helplessly trapped in Charcot’s hypnotic web, she starts spiraling into actual insanity. Desperate to save the girl she has grown to love, Laure plots their escape from the Salpêtrière and its doctors. First, though, she must confirm whether Joséphine is actually a madwoman, soon to be consigned to the Salpêtrière’s brutal Lunacy Wardor a murderer, destined for the guillotine.

Both are dark possibilitiesbut not nearly as dark as what Laure will unearth when she sets out to discover the truth.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593158005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/18/2023
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Cody Epstein is the internationally bestselling author of The Painter from Shanghai, Wonderland, and The Gods of Heavenly Punishment, which won the Asian Pacific Association of Librarians Honor award for outstanding fiction. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Self, Mademoiselle, and others. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and an MA in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

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