After Sappho

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It's 1895. Amid laundry and bruises, Rina Pierangeli Faccio gives birth to the child of the man who raped her - and who she has also been forced to marry. Unbroken, she determines to change her name; and her life, alongside it. 1902. Romaine Brooks sails for Capri. She has barely enough money for the ferry, nothing for lunch; her paintbrushes are bald and clotted... But she is sure she can sell a painting - and is fervent in her belief that the island is detached from all fates she has previously suffered. In 1923, Virginia Woolf writes: I want to make life fuller - and fuller. Sarah Bernhardt - Colette - Eleanora Duse - Lina Poletti - Josephine Baker... these are just a few of the women sharing the pages of a novel as fierce as it is luminous. Lush and poetic; furious and funny; in After Sappho, Selby Wynn Schwartz has created a novel that celebrates the women and trailblazers of the past - their constant efforts to push against the boundaries of what it means, and can mean, to be a