‘A stunning debut – because there is nothing debut about it’
Aged 13, Joan Ashby drew up a list of How to Become a Successful Writer:
1. Do not waste time
2. Ignore Eleanor Ashby* when she tells me I need friends [*J.A.’s mother]
3. Read great literature every day
4. Write every day
5. Rewrite every day
6. Avoid crushes and love
7. Do not entertain any offer of marriage
8. Never ever have children
9. Never allow anyone to get in my way
A decade later her short stories take the literary world by storm. But her failure to fulfil numbers 6 and 7 gets in the way, closely followed by number 8 (twice); some years down the road, she finds herself living a life very different from the one she had envisioned.
She finally gets back on track with numbers 4 and 5 and her much-anticipated first novel is finally written – and it’s a masterpiece, she just knows it. But as she is poised to reclaim the spotlight, a betrayal of Shakespearean proportions is lurking around the corner…
An audacious and dazzling novel, epic in scope but intimate in its portrayal of one woman’s triumphs and catastrophes.
About the author
Cherise Wolas’s acclaimed first novel, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a semi-finalist for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. A native of Los Angeles, she lives in New York City with her husband.
‘Like John Irving’s The World According to Garp, this is a look at the life of a writer that will entertain many nonwriters. Like Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, it’s a sharp-eyed portrait of the artist as spouse and householder. From the start, one wonders how Wolas is possibly going to pay off the idea that her heroine is such a genius. Verdict: few could do better’ Kirkus Reviews
‘A stunning debut – because there is nothing debut about it. It arrives so fully realised that it stuns as it entertains, as it twirls the reader on the sharp point of a #2 pencil. Wolas is a writer in full command of some impressive powers – one might even call them special powers. There is a joyous embrace to her work – to her exploration of the life and mind of her main character, the author Joan Ashby. Ashby is so well rendered that I found myself jealous of her (and Wolas) and also wishing she were my best friend and that we had a standing drinks date. Wolas is singular in her voice – and yet the delicacy, the specificity reminds me of my most favorite authors: J.D. Salinger, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Joan Didion’
A.M. Homes, bestselling author of May We Be Forgiven
‘This is the kind of book that pulls you under and you go willingly. And when it’s over, you come up for air and see anew. In giving us the story of one woman’s struggle to write her own life, Wolas captures worlds in worlds here, and lives in lives. As many currents run in a single river, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is rich and wide, and deep’ Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Postmistress
‘Cherise Wolas has delivered an audacious and dynamic first novel. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a remarkable tapestry of literary skill, emotional insight, and sensational storytelling’ Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street