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The Secret Magdalene


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About the Author

Ki Longfellow is the author of China Blues, Chasing Women, and The Secret Magdalene. She lives in Vermont.


Vermont novelist Longfellow (China Blues; Chasing Women) places Mary Magdalene at the center of the origin of Christian thought. As this vividly imagined novel opens, "Mariamne," the daughter of a wealthy Jewish aristocrat, is a gifted child with a love of learning who hears prophetic voices. Because privileged girls in Jerusalem are not raised to be scholars, Mariamne must indulge her passion in secret, accompanied by her slave, Tata, and her father's ward, Salome. Mariamne and Salome eventually run away to Alexandria, where they study in the great library, and into the wilderness, where Salome devotes herself to John the Baptizer. Meanwhile, Mariamne is drawn to Yeshu (Jesus), with whom she shares a brief earthly love and prolonged discussions of gnosis-the experience of direct personal insight into the divine. Together, they envision the events that lead to the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Reimagining such famous episodes as the healing of Lazarus, the wedding at Cana and Judas's betrayal, Longfellow sees Yeshu and his apostles from a feminist perspective. Longfellow (who first published this novel in 2005 at a small startup press named for Mariamne's donkey, Eio) is more passionate about research and philosophy than plot or character. Readers looking for a fast-paced thriller will be disappointed. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

The author of China Blues re-imagines Mary Magdalene as a young woman beset by visions who teaches the divinely inspired Yeshu'a everything she knows. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Highly original and highly engaging, The Secret Magdalene is a sweeping yet intimate tale, an emotional and intellectual journey that questions everything, including the real nature of Jesus." -India Edghill, author of Wisdom's Daughter

"In The Secret Magdalene Ki Longfellow portrays Jesus and Mary Magdalene of the Gnostic Gospel tradition-two great teachers whose friendship blossoms within the political turmoil of first century Palestine. What The DaVinci Code only hinted at, Longfellow brings to life." -Rebecca Kohn, author of The Gilded Chamber

"Imaginative, well-researched, and full of profound wisdom, this wonderful novel brings the ancient world to life." -Timothy Freke, co author of The Laughing Jesus

"Superb characterization, a brilliant visual palette, and thorough scholarship. One feels the stone streets of Jerusalem, breathes the air by the stinking salt sea . . . Ki Longfellow's Mariamne will no doubt eclipse all other representations of Mary Magdalene for some time. The Secret Magdalene is both heartbreaking and inspiring." -Earl Doherty, author of The Jesus Puzzle

"A beautifully written book, immaculately researched. It moved me to tears . . . I felt if this is not how it was, it is certainly how it should have been." -BookCrossing.com

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