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Joanna Kavenna Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Inglorious (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Birth of Love (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Come to the Edge (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Field Guide to Reality (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Zed (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Ice Museum (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Joanna Kavenna
Author Joanna Kavenna grew up in Britain, and has lived in Germany, the United States, Sri Lanka, France, China, Italy, Scandinavia, and the Baltic states. She is Welsh by family, with Scandinavian ancestry, she spent her childhood in the Midlands and Suffolk, as well as other parts of Britain.

She has held writing fellowships at Oxford, St John’s College, Cambridge, and St Antony’s.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, London Review of Books, and The New Yorker.

When she was five years old, she wrote a poem called “A cat is a cat is a cat”, which was an accidental homage to Gertrude Stein. One of her first novels was composed entirely in a mercilessly and invented guttural language, and had a glossary supplied for the ostensible “reader” at the back of the book. This book obviously did not reach a wide audience.

Joanna actually wrote seven novels before getting published. She admits that this is due to nobody wanting to publish them, and says they were written during the ages of eighteen to 26, a prolific yet ghastly time for her. It took her a long time to realize that they were just not going to go anywhere. She has lost two of them, after the computers they were being stored on crashed, which she feels is a blessing.

At the age of 24, she completed her PhD. It was not because she was anxious to clim the academic ladder, which was at one time her intention. It was after she had come to realize she wasn’t cut out for academia and she thought it best to just get it all finished. She only wanted to write novels.

Joanna spent her twenties avoided becoming bogged down in anything so unwriterly as a career. So instead, she temped. Doing bits of editing and reading for publishers, worked as an amanuensis for a “kindly journalist”, and worked for a magazine in New York for a bit. The whole time, she put a lot of her energy into writing whichever of the seven unpublishable books she was working on.

Joanna spent all this time working on these novels, and then shipped them off to agents and publishers, believing this one is the one. She had convinced herself they were potentially publishable for years, yet each time she never thought she had wasted anything. Despite the fact that you have a book that will never see the light of day, because you think to yourself that you are improving with each one. She sees this time as an apprenticeship, rather than believing she squandered ten years.

“The Birth of Love” was nominated for Best Book by Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. “Inglorious” won the Orange Award for New Writing.

Despite having won awards, she still feels her writing career hangs by a thread. She didn’t start out with a writing career, she was just writing. It has made her believe her next book will utterly fail or nobody’s going to want to publish her.

Joanna’s debut novel, called “Inglorious”, was released in the year 2007. She writes literary fiction.

“Inglorious” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2007. Rosa Lane, a successful young journalist and dedicated urbanite, shoots her boss an e-mail one day that just says she quits and then she walks out of her job. She is unable to explain why. Not to Liam, who has been living with her for many years, and not to her recently widowed and anxious father and not to her friends. All Rosa knows is that she must find enlightenment, to somehow begin comprehending her mom’s death and do more than just earn a living.

Thus begins the odyssey of Rosa Lane. Along the way, she gets evicted by her roommate, deceived by her lover, picked over by prospective employers, threatened by her bank manager, tormented by the omnivorous London, and befuddled by philosophy. Rosa, who has been brought very low indeed, in her desperation makes a final assault on those that have done her wrong, leading up to the start of her going back to normality, whatever that is.

In her remarkable fiction debut, Joanna displays a perfect eye for social hypocrisies, a lacerating wit, and some great depths of compassion to make a triumphant modern heroine.

“The Birth of Love” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2010. The year is 1865. Dr. Ignasz Semmelweiss, in Vienna, has just been forced into an asylum by all of his medical peers; after being ridiculed for his claim that doctors’ unwashed hands are the root cause of childbed fever.

Bridget Hughes, in present-day London, juggles her husband, young son, and mom, while she plans out her home birth, being unprepared for the trial that she is set to endure.

Some place in the year 2135, where humans are raised and birthed in breeding farms. Prisoner 730004 is currently on trial for hiding a pregnancy.

Through stories that span centuries, this novel explores the basic plight of all women, from a futuristic vision of technological oppression to the slaughterhouse of primitive medicine. Poised right in the middle is Bridget, whose strong belief in the wisdom of all nature gets tested.

“Zed” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. One corporation has made a perfect world that is based off of a perfect algorithm. Now what to do with all of these messy people?

Lionel Bigman is dead. Killed by a robot. Guy Matthias, the philandering CEO and founder of the mega-corporation Beetle, insists that it was all human error. Was it? Either the predictive algorithms of Beetle’s supposedly omniscient ‘lifechain’ did not work. Or they have been hacked. Both of these scenarios are impossible to imagine and it signals the end of Beetle’s technotopia and life as we know it.

Readers found this to be darkly comic and dazzlingly original, and asks some profound questions about what we owe to each other, who we are, and what it is that makes us human.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Joanna Kavenna

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