Books by Karen Essex

Karen Essex is an award-winning journalist, a screenwriter, and the co-author of a biography about cult icon Bettie Page. Born in New Orleans, she holds an MFA in Writing from Goddard College in Vermont.


STEALING ATHENA by Karen Essex
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 17, 2008

"A lively exposé of double standards in two societies that prided themselves on democratic ideals and respect for women."
In her fourth historical novel, Essex (Leonardo's Swans, 2006, etc.) alternates the stories of two influential women, a Greek courtesan and a Scottish heiress, who each played a crucial role in the history of artifacts from Athens's Golden Age. Read full book review >
LEONARDO’S SWANS by Karen Essex
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 10, 2006

"Essex delineates the confusion of historical events and historically accurate personalities with clarity, but she never quite achieves a sense of human urgency."
In her third historical novel (Pharaoh, 2002, etc.), Essex shifts her focus to 15th-century Italy, where politics and art determine the private ambitions and intrigues of the Estes sisters. Read full book review >
PHARAOH by Karen Essex
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 7, 2002

"Though Kleopatra sometimes gets lost in all the mayhem and machinations, she is still, with Essex's provocative take, a woman as remarkable as the great men who loved her."
In a follow-up to Kleopatra (2001), Essex again gives the Egyptian queen a feminist tweak in detailing both her love affairs and her accomplished statecraft. Read full book review >
KLEOPATRA by Karen Essex
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 8, 2001

"A bit of a stretch—could Kleopatra have been this wise and wonderful?—but an agreeably intelligent and lively read nonetheless."
The Kleopatra loved by Mark Anthony and others is given a stature—and a minor change to her name to underline her Greek lineage—in a richly textured if sometimes strained debut. Read full book review >