Available July 11, 2023
Reimagines the lives of the Brontë siblings—Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and brother Branwell—from their precocious childhoods, to the writing of their great novels, to their early deaths.
A form-shattering novel by an author praised as “laugh-out-loud hilarious and thought-provokingly philosophical” (Boston Globe).
How did sisters Emily, Charlotte, and Anne write literary landmarks Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey? What in their lives and circumstances, in the choices they made, and in their close but complex relationships with one another made such greatness possible? In her new novel, Rachel Cantor melds biographical fact with unruly invention to illuminate the siblings’ genius, their bonds of love and duty, periods of furious creativity, and the ongoing tolls of illness, isolation, and loss.
As it tells the story of the Brontës, Half-Life of a Stolen Sister itself perpetually transforms and renews its own style and methods, sometimes hewing close to the facts of the Brontë lives as we know them (or think we know them), and at others radically reimagining the siblings, moving them into new time periods and possibilities.
Chapter by chapter, the novel brings together diaries, letters, home movies, television and radio interviews, deathbed monologues, and fragments from the sprawling invented worlds of the siblings’ childhood. As it does so, a kaleidoscopic portrait emerges, giving us with startling intensity and invention new ways of seeing—and reading—the sisters who would create some of the supreme works of literature of all time.