Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore: A Novel

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9780143119876: Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore: A Novel

"A bravura performance: a witty, moving, sexy book that bursts with as much color and excitement as the city of Constantinople itself." -Financial Times

Roman historian Procopius publicly praised Theodora of Constantinople for her piety-while secretly detailing her salacious stage act and maligning her as ruthless and power hungry. So who was this woman who rose from humble beginnings as a dancer to become the empress of Rome and a saint in the Orthodox Church? Award-winning novelist Stella Duffy vividly recreates the life and times of a woman who left her mark on one of the ancient world's most powerful empires. Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore is a sexy, captivating novel that resurrects an extraordinary, little-known figure from the dusty pages of history.

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About the Author:

Stella Duffy was born in London, grew up in New Zealand, and now lives in London. She is the author of seven literary novels, including The Room of Lost Things and State of Happiness, both of which were Longlisted for the Orange Prize. The Room of Lost Things won the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2008, and she won the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2010 for Theodora. She is also the author of the Saz Martin detective series. She has written over 45 short stories, including several for BBC Radio 4, and won the 2002 CWA Short Story Dagger for Martha Grace. Her ten plays include an adaptation of Medea for Steam Industry, and Prime Resident and Immaculate Conceit for the National Youth Theatre (UK). In addition to her writing work she is an actor and theatre director.

Review:

"Theodora is a best-of-all-worlds book -- entertaining, gripping, thoughtful and dangerously enlightening. Stella Duffy, a versatile and gifted novelist, is uniquely suited to bringing Theodora to life. She clearly has great affection for her subject, but does not allow that to undercut her keen eye and pitch-perfect ear. An achievement that many writers will envy and few will equal."— Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of What The Dead Know

"Duffy's seductive retelling of the story of the legendary empress Theodora will delight historical fiction fans."— Publishers Weekly

"Duffy's retelling of the true story of a woman (500-548) who rose from lowly beginnings to become Empress of the Byzantine Empire is lively and dramatic."— Library Journal

"There's... intelligence and empathy under the energetic potboiler surface."— Kirkus

"Duffy's passion for her heroine, the charismatic Theodora, is evident on every page. The result is a novel that remains true to its historical sources, whilst managing to reinvent its subject matter with great freshness and verve. A vivid and affectionate portrait of one of the most fascinating personalities of the ancient world."— Sarah Waters

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