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The Book of Joan
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The Book of Joan


In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

A riveting tale of destruction and love found in direst of places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience—Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as means for survival.

Title:The Book of Joan
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:288 pages
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    The Book of Joan Reviews

  • Julie Christine
    May 23, 2017

    In August 2015 I participated in a weekend writing workshop with Lidia Yuknavitch, an experience I chronicled here A Weekend with Lidia. At a reading the evening after our first day together, Lidia to...

  • Angela
    May 08, 2017

    I loathed this book. There were brief enticing moments of rich writing, smothered in a failed attempt to create a masterpiece and a world vision that just did not coalesce for me. I particularly could...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Jun 16, 2017

    "Silent skinsongs.That's all we are."After Earth has been destroyed, humanity is trying to survive in genetically modified forms in the nearby universe. The future species is occupied with trying to f...

  • Book Riot Community
    May 23, 2017

    Joan is a mythical creature who is also extremely real and human in this masterful reimagining of a Joan of Arc savior fit for modern times. In a future world (not very far in the future, mind you), e...

  • Andy Pronti
    Oct 13, 2016

    Corporeal: of or relating to a persons body, especially as opposed to their spirit. Each novel I read by Lidia Yuknavitch is some how, even better than the last. I had to pace myself while reading, as...

  • Jenny
    Nov 04, 2016

    Another brilliant novel from Lidia Yuknavitch. Yuknavitch is at the forefront of feminist writing. She can explore the complex relationship women have with their bodies like no other. Her dual protago...

  • Allison
    Jan 16, 2017

    Reminded me a bit of Kameron Hurley's short story "The Corpse Archives". Very good ~literary~ sci-fi. Good timing with the Handmaid's Tale miniseries releasing in March and probably an upswing in read...

  • Whitney Milam
    Apr 20, 2017

    Startling and strange. Not really sure how to rate it so here are some striking passages:Two things have always ruptured up and through hegemony: art and bodies. That is how art has preserved its toeh...

  • Dianah
    Mar 24, 2017

    Lidia Yuknavitch's post-apocalyptic retelling of Joan of Arc's story is flat-out brilliant. The Earth is decimated and the only possibility of life is on the hovering stations suspended above the barr...

  • Michelle
    Apr 20, 2017

    My first thought upon finishing The Book of Joan was the question of what I just read. My second thought was that this was one of those books where I probably should have DNF’d it. I continue to rea...