Historical fiction at Book Expo this month…

It’s Book Expo America season once again, and I’ll be heading to NYC in less than two weeks. A copious amount of historical fiction will be offered this year and I am looking forward to meeting with publicists of some of the independent presses I work with, attending a few educational sessions, especially one called “All’s Fair? Book Reviewing and the Missing Code of Ethics.” Ethical and intelligent book reviewing on blogs just happens to be one of my interests…LOL. And then there’s the speed dating for book clubs session, which I find very helpful for locating historical novels that are targeted for a more specific audience. As always, I’ll bring my rolling suitcase and will pay out extraordinary amounts of money to ship home all of these books…

A couple of historical fiction novels have caught my eye as either having the perfect elements of an absorbing tale to sweep readers away, or by falling into the category of being “outside the mainstream” themes…

hild-beaWith its stunning teal cover, Hild looks to be a good old-fashioned HF prototype; just the perfect mix of biography, history, and fiction in a popular historical place and time, Anglo-Saxon England. (literary biographical novel of St. Hilda of Whitby in 7th-century England, from a multi-award winning writer.  To be released in November)




Iceland is not a location I have seen portrayed  in HF-mainstream or Indie-and I am intrigued by the premise of Burial Rites,  about a woman accused of murder in 1829 Iceland, based on a true story. It is one of the books I may talk about during the panel “Off the Beaten Path: Reading and Writing Outside of the HF Mainstream” at the U.S. HNS conference coming up in June. I’ll write more about that later.


tan-beaAmy Tan’s new offering, The Valley of Amazement, follows three generations of women from 19th-century San Francisco to turn-of-the-century Shanghai and after, and looks to be a familiar and comfy treat for historical family saga fans.





The Mountain of Light, an epic novel about diamond hunters in Victorian India, piques my interest, too, as I amsundaresan drawn to stories set during the time of the British Raj. This locale and period seems to have dropped off the popularity scales lately–it might be that this older trend is now attempting to revive itself…


For details on publishers’ booth locations and signing schedules, see Sarah Johnson’s annual BEA post at http://readingthepast.blogspot.com/2013/05/historical-fiction-picks-at-bea-2013.html (book descriptions borrowed from this post).

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