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Joan of Arc Author at Loft


The Music Hall’sWriters in the Loftseries welcomes Kathryn Harrison, theNew York Timesbestselling author on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Harrison will discuss JOAN OF ARC:A Life Transfigured,her expertly woven account of a young peasant girl who became a heroine of profound historical and almost mythical stature. (Click title to read more)


The 7pm event includes an author presentation and moderated Q+A, plus book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at the Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   

In the spirit ofStacy Schiff’s Cleopatra, JOAN OF ARC is a tale of heroism and spirituality not to be missed. Relying on extensive research, historical documentation, myth, and literary interpretation, Harrison immerses her readers into the world of The Middle Ages, reframing and reinvigorating Joan of Arc’s story into a gripping and relevant commentary on faith and fortitude.

Joan of Arc“With JOAN OF ARC we get to delve into the transformative, miraculous and immortal life of a peasant girl who was at once saint, heretic, warrior and witch,” says Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall and the evening’s moderator. “Harrison’s work is wonderfully rich and objective, and gives us new perspective on a young woman who defied all limitations and has gone on to inspire art – literature, painting, sculpture, music, drama, film – for centuries.”   

“One of the things I find exciting about Joan of Arc,” says Kathryn Harrison, “is how clearly the story of her life reveals the creation of myth, a process in which every one of us is involved – every one of us who tells stories and all those who listen, each informing the other.”


The profoundly inspiring and fully documented saga of Joan of Arc, the young peasant girl whose "voices" moved her to rally the French nation and a reluctant king against British invaders in 1428, has fascinated artistic figures as diverse as William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Voltaire, George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, Carl Dreyer, and Robert Bresson. Was she a divinely inspired saint? A schizophrenic? A demonically possessed heretic, as her persecutors and captors tried to prove?

Every era must retell and reimagine the Maid of Orleans's extraordinary story in its own way, and in JOAN OF ARC:A Life Transfigured, the superb novelist and memoirist Kathryn Harrison gives us a Joan for our time—a shining exemplar of unshakable faith, extraordinary courage, and exceptional self-confidence during a brutally rigged ecclesiastical inquisition and in the face of her death by burning. Deftly weaving historical fact, myth, folklore, artistic representations, and centuries of scholarly and critical interpretation into a compelling narrative, she restores Joan of Arc to her rightful position as one of the greatest heroines in all of human history.


KATHRYN HARRISON has written the novelsThicker Than Water,Exposure,Poison,The Binding Chair,The Seal Wife,EnvyandEnchantments. Her autobiographical work includesThe Kiss,Seeking Rapture,The Road to Santiago, andThe Mother Knot. She has also written a biography,St. Therese of Lisieux, and, most recently, a book of true crime,While They Slept: An Inquiry Into the Murder of a Family. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the novelist Colin Harrison, and their three children.


The ticket package forWriters in the Loft: Kathryn Harrisonon Tuesday, December 2, at 7pmis $43. In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of JOAN OF ARC:A Life Transfigured (hardcover, $28.95), a bar beverage, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased through The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at603.436.2400, or online


MUSIC HALL SEASON SPONSORS: River House Restaurant; Carey & Giampa, Realtors; The Residences at Portwalk Place




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