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The Woman of La Mancha by Karen Mann
The Woman of La Mancha is
published by Fleur-de-Lis Press, an affiliate of The Louisville Review , which is housed at Spalding University, home of Spalding's low-residency MFA in Writing program.
Read what editor and publisher Sena Jeter Naslund writes about The Woman of La Mancha: Karen Mann compels us not to read but to live her novel. In The Woman of La Mancha, Mann immediately transports us across centuries to Spain, where we find ourselves in the body of a child who wakes up in a peasant's cart and has no idea who she is.
Like a baby, she experiences the world through her senses and an intuitive sense of friend and foe, of safety and danger.
We grow with her and feel the inevitable stirrings of body and mind. To what extent, she questions, are the rules and prohibitions of church and state to be cherished or flouted? Where does one find the strength to overcome trauma and begin again? And what of love and kindness and their dark twins, hatred and cruelty?
For all the differences between straw, silk, and gold, our protagonist finds delight in humble rural life, in the luxuriousness of forbidden pleasures, and in the splendor of wealth without measure.
This is a book about courage in both an extraordinary young woman and an extraordinary young man. Their lives will awaken your senses and engage your heart and mind. You won't want to leave their world, and you won’t want for this novel to end.
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The Woman of La Mancha
by Karen Mann (2014)
A rip-roaring, thumping good story, set in the time and place that gave birth to Don Quixote. Faithful to the spirit of those times and driven by a lively and beguiling central character, The Woman of La Mancha brings us the full sweep of human capability: generosity and tenderness, hope and persistence, brutality and treachery. Steeped in medieval roots, this tale poses modern questions about men and women: the suffering that springs from perversity and violation, the longing and loneliness that accompany young adulthood, and the rare and joyful flourishing of reciprocal love. This book will inspire and warm your heart.
–Eleanor Morse, author of White Dog Fell from the Sky and Chopin's Garden
Karen Mann’s take-off on Don Quixote is a marvelous creation all its own. While remaining faithful to the spirit and style of Cervantes’ masterpiece, Mann turns the narrative on its head. This Dulcinea—only one of her guises—is not only an object of romantic obsession, but also a picaresque figure in her own right, adventuring, learning, and loving in a perilous but enchanting world. Read The Woman of La Mancha to journey with this colorful heroine and others by way of a wondrous, delightful tale.
–Roy Hoffman, author of the novels Chicken Dreaming Corn and Come Landfall
The reader doesn’t have to be a Don Quixote scholar to enjoy—to love!—Karen Mann’s ingenious re-imagining of Cervantes’ classic. The Woman of La Mancha is a funny, lusty, and epic picaresque that examines identity, secret selves, and the ways in which our lives, often unwittingly, intertwine with history and shape the destinies of others. A provocative, rollicking novel.
–K. L. Cook, author of Love Songs for the Quarantined and The Girl from Charnelle
Cover painting by AJ Reinhart. Book design by Jonathan Weinert.