By Any Other Name: A Novel (Hardcover)

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By Any Other Name: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Jodi Picoult needs no introduction. Nor does her writing additional rah rah... But I do want to applaud her latest novel for its unapologetic support of women's recognition. Although I have never doubted the authorship of Shapespeare's plays (and I still don't), I was excited to hear that Jodi was suggesting a woman named Emilia Bassano was the actual writer of his fabulous plays and that the actor - William Shakespeare - had been hired by Bassano to write the plays that shook the literary community and lived on for hundreds of years. Juxtaposed with a story of a modern playwright named Melina Green, whose friend submitted her work to a festival under a man's name. This is a delightful "what if" (in my mind) which plants itself firmly on top of the centuries long debate about who wrote these plays. Will we ever know for sure?
 

— Linda Bond

From the New York Times bestselling co-author of Mad Honey comes an “inspiring” (Elle) novel about two women, centuries apart—one of whom is the real author of Shakespeare’s plays—who are both forced to hide behind another name.

“You’ll fall in love with Emilia Bassano, the unforgettable heroine based on a real woman that Picoult brings vividly to life in her brilliantly researched new novel.”—Kristin Hannah, author of The Women

Young playwright Melina Green has just written a new work inspired by the life of her Elizabethan ancestor Emilia Bassano. But seeing it performed is unlikely, in a theater world where the playing field isn’t level for women. As Melina wonders if she dares risk failure again, her best friend takes the decision out of her hands and submits the play to a festival under a male pseudonym.

In 1581, young Emilia Bassano is a ward of English aristocrats. Her lessons on languages, history, and writing have endowed her with a sharp wit and a gift for storytelling, but like most women of her day, she is allowed no voice of her own. Forced to become a mistress to the Lord Chamberlain, who oversees all theatre productions in England, Emilia sees firsthand how the words of playwrights can move an audience. She begins to form a plan to secretly bring a play of her own to the stage—by paying an actor named William Shakespeare to front her work.

Told in intertwining timelines, By Any Other Name, a sweeping tale of ambition, courage, and desire centers two women who are determined to create something beautiful despite the prejudices they face. Should a writer do whatever it takes to see her story live on . . . no matter the cost? This remarkable novel, rooted in primary historical sources, ensures the name Emilia Bassano will no longer be forgotten.
Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including Mad Honey (co-authored with Jennifer Finney Boylan), Wish You Were Here, The Book of Two Ways, A Spark of Light, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, and My Sister’s Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.

Product Details ISBN: 9780593497210
ISBN-10: 059349721X
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 20th, 2024
Pages: 544
Language: English
“You’ll fall in love with Emilia Bassano, the unforgettable heroine based on a real woman that Picoult brings vividly to life in her brilliantly researched new novel. Jodi Picoult’s books always start passionate conversations, and this one is sure to get people talking. Book clubs will embrace this rich, inspiring story.”—Kristin Hannah

“A blend of historical fiction and modern-day settings, the novel gives us timelines that intertwine and surprise. . . . This one is definitely for fans of Shakespeare’s work; Picoult has done her research.”Harper’s Bazaar

“[An] inspiring work of feminist literature.”Elle

“Perennial bestseller Picoult . . . takes on another hot-button topic sure to ignite controversy and conversation: the question of Shakespearean authorship. . . . [A] timely and affecting tale . . . Picoult’s many, many fans will pounce on her latest incisive, pot-stirring tale, while the Shakespearean theme will attract even more readers.”Booklist, starred review

“Picoult creates a richly detailed portrait of daily life in Elizabethan England, from sumptuous castles to seedy hovels. . . . It’s Emilia’s story, and Picoult lovingly brings her to life. . . . A vibrant tale of a remarkable woman.”Kirkus Reviews