Queen of the Night
From a writer praised by Junot Diaz as 'the fire, in my opinion, and the light', Alexander Chee's mesmerizing novel The Queen of the Night follows one woman's rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned star. A 'wild opera of a novel', The Queen of the Night tells the story of Lilliet Berne, an orphan who leaves the American frontier for Europe and is swept into the glamour and terror of Second Empire France. She becomes a sensation of the Paris Opera, with every accolade but an original role - her chance at immortality. When one is offered to her, she finds the part is based on her deepest secret, something only four people have ever known. But who has betrayed her? With 'epic sweep, gorgeous language, and haunting details', Alexander Chee shares Lilliet's cunning transformation from circus rider to courtesan to legendary soprano, retracing the path that led to the role that could secure her reputation - or destroy her with the secrets it reveals. 'One doesn't so much read The Queen of the Night as one is bewitched by it' Hanya Yanagihara, author of the Man Booker shortlisted A Little Life 'A wild opera of a novel and the perfect summer read: swift, smart, immersive and gorgeous' Guardian 'A celebration ...of creativity, ingenuity, endurance, mastery and grace' New York Times 'A more impressive, richly imagined novel I have not read in many years. From its heroine's first entrance, The Queen of the Night grabbed me and kept me rapt as it writhed and contorted its way through love and murder, courtesans and empresses, fates and curses' Financial Times 'A masterfully written book. Chee, just, is masterful. I loved this novel' Roxane Gay 'An epic novel, brilliantly extravagant' Vogue A bestseller in the US, a New York Times Editor's Choice, a Guardian Best Book of the Summer and a Best Book of the Year So Far from Esquire, Refinery 29, and Financial Times
One doesn't so much read The Queen of the Night as one is bewitched by it -- Hanya Yanagihara, author of the Man Booker shortlisted 'A Little Life' A wild opera of a novel: swift, smart, immersive and gorgeous Guardian A more impressive, richly imagined novel I have not read in many years Financial Times A celebration ... of creativity, ingenuity, endurance, mastery and grace New York Times A masterfully written book. Chee, just, is masterful. I loved this novel -- Roxane Gay An epic novel, brilliantly extravagant Vogue Lush and sweeping ... A moving meditation on the transformative power of fate, art, time, and sheer survival Publishers Weekly Sprawling, soaring, bawdy and plotted like a fine embroidery National Public Radio It just sounds terrific. It sounds like opera New Yorker A night at an opera you'll wish never-ending -- Helen Oyeyemi, author of 'Boy, Snow, Bird' and 'Mr. Fox' An astonishing universe into which its lucky readers can dissolve completely Karen Russell, New York Times best-selling author of 'Swamplandia' and 'Vampires in the Lemon Grove' Utterly engrossing. You won't want to miss this Bookish A spellbinding story of intrigue and self-reinvention Buzzfeed Readers [will be] absorbed until the final aria, waiting to see whom fate will curse and whom it will avenge Time Richly researched and ornately plotted Kirkus, STARRED review
Alexander Chee won a Whiting Award for his first novel, Edinburgh, and is a recipient of the NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, and Civitella Ranieri. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, and NPR, among others, and he is a contributing editor at the New Republic. He has recently been selected as a prestigious L.A. Times critic-at-large. He lives in New York City.