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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

Further Recommendations

After completing a great book, sometimes it's hard to find a satisfying follow up. Let us help. Each of our "further reading" pages provides a number of knowledgeable recommendations for what to read after you've enjoyed one of our bestsellers.


The Poisonwood Bible
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Things Fall ApartThings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe's internationally acclaimed novel was among the first stories about the colonial period in Africa to be told from the view of the colonized. His portrayal of Nigeria before British and Christian involvement is unsentimental, yet vivid enough to make recognizable the decay brought about by colonialism, revealing both the internal and external factors that bring human beings to ruin.Kingsolver echoes Achebe's intimate investigation of personal responsibility. Okonkwo's personal defeat, intertwined with that of his tribe, reminds readers that collapse of the soul, though often aided by the external, is accomplished from within.

Possessing the Secret of JoyPossessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
Bitter threads connect this book to Kingsolver's novel. In Possessing the Secret of Joy, African heroine Tashi-Evelyn Johnson attempts to preserve her Olinka culture by undergoing ritual female circumcision. Though her body survives the bloody practice, she spends the rest of her days grappling with madness. Walker's indictment of misogyny, enslavement, and the collaboration of women against their own daughters is intimately voiced as Tashi and her family tell her story.

Heart of DarknessHeart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
One of the great classic novels of the past hundred years is also set in the Belgian Congo. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad leads readers down-river to the most desperate places of the unkempt soul. Though cultural ignorance exists within Conrad's characters, the implication is crueler and far more brutal than Kingsolver's later presentation of misguided colonists. Depravity and isolation from the familiar form an unholy union in both stories, but this one was first to explore the link.

King Leopold's Ghost King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
If Kingsolver's novel has piqued your interest in Africa's colonial history, King Leopold's Ghost makes an excellent nonfiction counterpart. King Leopold put the horror in Conrad's (and later Marlon Brando's) famous line: "the horror, the horror." In the late nineteenth century, no European power could claim any importance without at least a small African colony to show for itself. Not wanting to be left behind, King Leopold of Belgium laid claim to a large section of the African continent that for many decades was known as the Belgian Congo. In the years from 1885 until Leopold's death in 1909, Leopold's mercenary army meted out sadistic punishments in order to create a massive slave workforce for his mines and rubber plantations. King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa is Adam Hochschild's grim chronicle of colonial ambition run amuck.

My Son's StoryMy Son's Story by Nadine Gordimer
Segregated South Africa is both the backdrop and subject of Nadine Gordimer's exploration of deceit. Fans of Kingsolver will appreciate Gordimer's intimate storytelling as she connects the tumultuous South African political climate with personal betrayal and marital infidelity. Will's father Sonny is a local political hero of mixed race. When the boy discovers his father's affair with a white human rights activist, Will and Sonny's relationship changes, opening a world of deception, loneliness and pain. Though presented through the perspective of the son, Gordimer's exploration of the struggle to be free works on many levels and is all the more meaningful within the larger context of South Africa's politics.


The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


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