March is Women’s History Month; take a look at biographical fiction about some of history’s (in)famous female movers and shakers.
Nefertiti: A Novel by Michelle Moran. Raised far from the Egyptian court with her sister, Mutnodjmet, the beautiful and ambitious Nefertiti becomes the wife of the radical new pharaoh, Amunhotep, encouraging his plans to overturn Egypt’s state religion and making powerful enemies in the process.
Boudica: Dreaming the Hound by Manda Scott.
As her people, the Eceni, suffer under a brutal Roman occupation, Boudica, the great Celtic warrior queen, joins forces with her half-brother, Ban, to try to unite the tribes to drive their enemies from their homeland.
Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto.
A tale inspired by the lives of famous twentieth-century female photographers traces the progression of feminism and photography in various world regions as each woman explores private and public goals while balancing the demands of family and creativity.
Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China by Pearl S. Buck. The amazing story of Tzu Hsi, who rose from concubine status to become the working head of the Qing Dynasty. Born from a humble background, Tzu Hsi falls in love with her cousin Jung Lu, a handsome guard–but while still a teenager she is selected, along with her sister and hundreds of other girls, for relocation to the Forbidden City. Already set apart on account of her beauty, she’s determined to be the emperor’s favorite, and devotes all of her talent and cunning to the task. When the emperor dies, she finds herself in a role of supreme power, one she’ll command for nearly fifty years.
The Maid by Kimberly Cutter. Reimagines the life of Joan of Arc against the backdrop of the Hundred Years’ War and traces her violence-marked childhood and fateful effort to save her country.
The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots by Carolly Erickson.
A tale inspired by the life of Mary Queen of Scots depicts her as a spirited young woman who fights to keep her throne, enters into a happy but scandal-marked third marriage, and is betrayed by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck, translated by Achy Obejas. Reimagines the life of Frida Kahlo, chronicling her personal relationship with Diego Rivera, the development of her art, and her feminist passions
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy. An award-winning novelist describes the colorful life of Theodora of Constantinople, who rose from her humble beginnings and left behind a career as a sexy stage dancer to become the empress of Rome and ultimately a saint in the Orthodox Church
Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Stephanie Hemphill.
A free-verse novel about the Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, a teenager whose love story led her to write the literary masterpiece, Frankenstein.