The Queen of the Night

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 2, 2016 - Fiction - 400 pages
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 National Bestseller
New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice | An Indie Next Pick

A Best Book of the Year from NPR, Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, Esquire, San Francisco Chronicle,Time Out, Self, Jezebel, The Portland Mercury, Electric Literature, and Entropy Magazine

“It just sounds terrific. It sounds like opera.” —Joan Acocella, The New Yorker

“Sprawling, soaring, bawdy, and plotted like a fine embroidery.” —Scott Simon, NPR

 
“Dazzling.” —Wall Street Journal | “A brilliant performance.” —Washington Post
 
“Sweeping, richly detailed.” —People | “Masterful.” —Wired | “Spellbinding.” —BuzzFeed

 
A “wild opera of a novel,”* The Queen of the Night tells the mesmerizing story of Lilliet Berne, an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept into the glamour and terror of Second Empire France. She became 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 libretto is based on her deepest secret, something only four people have ever known. But who 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.

“If Lilliet Berne were a man, she might have been what nineteenth-century novels would call a swashbuckler: the kind of destiny-courting, death-defying character who finds intrigue and peril (and somehow, always, a fantastic pair of pantaloons) around every corner.” —Entertainment Weekly
 


  
 

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The Queen of the Night

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Chee’s lush and sweeping second novel uses a strikingly different setting from Edinburgh, his accomplished debut, but shares its musical themes and boldness. In 1882 Paris, the soprano known as ... Read full review

THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT

User Review  - Kirkus

Life as opera: the intrigues and passions of a star soprano in 19th-century Paris. She was the last surviving member of a Minnesota farm family swept away by fever; "Lilliet Berne" is a name she ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Cave of Queens and Courtesans
69
Un Ballo In Maschera
145
First Love
259
The Undoing
421
Epilogue
550
Back Matter
554
Back Flap
563
Back Cover
564
Spine
565
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

ALEXANDER CHEE is the best-selling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at the New Republic, an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review, and a critic at large at the Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, the New York Times Magazine, Slate, Guernica, and Tin House, among others. He is an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College.
 

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