Saturday, April 3rd, 2021
Live • Online • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET
A note from Sue Monk Kidd:
Dear Friends of Book Passage,
Thank you so much for joining the conversation I had with Elaine about The Book of Longings. There’s hardly anything I love more than books. I love writing them, reading them, thinking about them, and talking about them. That you joined our event tells me you love books, too.
Over the past year, I rediscovered how books can lift us out of ourselves and drop us into the ecstasies, yearnings, and struggles of others, into all the ways their lives are shattered and put together again. In the act of reading, we get to leave ourselves and become someone else for a while, and if we’re lucky, travel back freer of the boundaries that separate us from others. (It’s another kind of ‘book passage.’)
Here are some books I read recently that gave me that remarkable experience.
- The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
- Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are The Storytellers The Human Story Changes by Elizabeth Lesser
- The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir by Sara Seager
I hope we meet again over a book.
With much gratitude,
—Sue Monk Kidd
An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings.
In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.
Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.
Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
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 United States, was turned into an award-winning major motion picture and a musical, and has been translated into thirty-six 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.
Elaine Petrocelli is the founder and president of Book Passage, the fiercely independent bookstore in Corte Madera, California, and at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Over the past 44 years, Book Passage has hosted more than 10,000 classes, conferences, and author events, featuring Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Salman Rushdie, John McCain, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and thousands of new writers. She hosts the Conversations with Authors series, featuring Isabel Allende, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, Dave Eggers and other great writers.
Sue Monk Kidd photo by Tony Pearce
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