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Beheld
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About the Author

TaraShea Nesbit is the author of The Wives of Los Alamos, which was a national bestseller, a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize, and a New York Times Editors' Choice, among other accolades. Her writing has been featured in Granta, Ninth Letter, The Guardian, Fourth Genre, Salon, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Denver. An assistant professor and Altman Scholar at Miami University, she lives in Oxford, Ohio with her family

Reviews

There is a contradiction underpinning the whole project of English imperialism, and Nesbit flags it perfectly ... The novel is most successful where it allows itself to stray from historical fact and plot -- to invent and to play with language, to give itself imaginative time and space. Nesbit is brilliant in those moments, and captures a paradox of historical writing -- that it's in the invention and improvisation that the past feels most pressing and most real. - New York TimesA compelling new novel by TaraShea Nesbit, author of The Wives of Los Alamos, explores not only the dangers the first colonists confronted on arrival, but those they brought with them ... Beheld disrupts expectation to render the pulsing messy lives of those too often calcified in myth. - USA Today, three stars out of fourI have been waiting for this book. But I'm not alone. There has been a sort of impatience and delicious anticipation felt by those waiting to be inside TaraShea Nesbit's much talked about Beheld. - Sarah Jessica Parker, via Instagram In this plain-spoken and lovingly detailed historical novel, the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony is refracted through the prism of female characters. Despite the novel's quietness of telling, its currency is the human capacity for cruelty and subjugation, of pretty much everyone by pretty much everyone. - New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceIn a gripping retelling of the Plymouth colony's first murder, we finally hear the voices of women--and they speak an unvarnished truth that turns history on its pointy-hatted head. Truly a riveting read. - Helen Simonson, author of MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND and THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WARTaraShea Nesbit's puritans are passionate and vengeful and entrancing. Part mystery, part love story, beautifully told and meticulously researched, Beheld reanimates and complicates the mythologies of America's earliest settlers. I was sad when it ended. - Anton DiSclafani, author of THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLSBeheld breathes fresh life into a world grown still and murky beneath the scrim of legend--rife with intrigue, fractured by difference, marked by violence, and full of haunting images. With gorgeous, period-inflected prose, Nesbit takes us back to the earliest days of New England to look through the eyes and over the shoulders of historical characters both remembered and not. I read it at a gallop. What a marvel this novel is. - Laird Hunt, author of IN THE HOUSE IN THE DARK OF THE WOODS I read TaraShea Nesbit's Beheld months ago, and it's one of those novels that has stayed with me -- in the best way. - Tina Jordan, New York Times Book Review Deputy Editor via TwitterA richly complex and sorrowful work with a particular interest in the role of women in the colony. . . . In this powerful work, Nesbit renders the past without muting its gravity. - Minneapolis Star-Tribune Nesbit . . . cleverly recasts pilgrim history in this deeply enjoyable novel . . . Capturing the alternating voices of the haves (the Bradfords, Newcomen) and the have-nots (the Billingtons), Nesbit's lush prose adds texture to stories of the colony's women, and her deep immersion in primary sources adds complexity to the historical record. - Publishers Weekly, starred review In this vein, Nesbit joins other writers of colonial life, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne himself, to show how easily hypocrisy and the Puritan faith merged in society. Eleanor has her own scarlet letter because of her marriage, her social status, and her outspoken bravery. - Washington Independent Review of Books. . . the novel is a gripping read propelled by vibrant characterization, and an engrossing take on the Plymouth colony and America's first murder. - Historical Novel SocietyBeheld is a thrilling, class-conscious take on the narrative of Plymouth that introduces marginalized voices whose stories are rarely told. - BookBrowse, four stars out of five Restoring women's voices, primarily through Alice and Eleanor, adds a new and welcome dimension to our history, made more vivid by solid research and clear, concise prose. In Nesbit's hands, history once again comes alive. - BooklistNesbit brilliantly captures the wrath between the classes and the irony of coming to a country in pursuit of religious freedom only to have the sanctimonious Puritans circumscribe the rights of the Anglicans. - Publishers Weekly Nesbit's novel has all the juicy sex, lies, and violence of a prestige Netflix drama and shines surprising light on the earliest years of America, massive warts and all. A dramatic look at the Pilgrims as seen through women's eyes. - Kirkus ReviewsNesbit tells this story of conflict and contradiction in alternating chapters from both the empowered and the powerless. The voices of the women are especially strong, particularly Elizabeth, whose friendships and reminiscences of the colony's earlier days offer insight about the women of the plantation ... Land ownership, religious observation and differing accounts of events all play their part in this clever, insightful novel that digs deeply into our country's conflicted origins. - BookPageNesbit's empathy is as evident and important here as her commitment to accuracy . . . Reading historical fiction with a balanced combination of accuracy and emotion can approach reading a letter or a diary from the time. Such fiction can also offer intentional, carefully crafted drama and, in Nesbit's case, beautiful prose. Beheld will engage readers who seek out historical fiction, and others who enjoy voice-driven psychological drama. - Fiction Writers Review . . . get ready for what the ladies of Plymouth have to say. - Paperback Paris A great story, and Nesbit boldly uses the first person plural to tell it . . . . She evokes the women's days in lyrical, hypnotic detail. - People on THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS The story is told by all of the women . . . together in unison as one haunting, communal voice. Impressive . . . . Together and alone and each in her separate way, the wives are left to celebrate or lament the wonder or the horror of what their town had done. - New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) on THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOSThe novel is historical but also intensely personal, and makes masterful use of third person plural narration. It is a must-read for anyone with an appetite for historical fiction or just a well told story . . . intimate and yet universal . . . The women in Nesbit's novel and the calm, reflective voice they embody will captivate readers from the first page to the last. - Bustle on THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOSHaunting . . . fascinating . . . A powerful testament to women's strength and ability to hold a community together during a disturbing time. - Wall Street Journal on THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS

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