Clare Beams - The Illness Lesson & Emily Beyda - The Body Double — at Union Market

Upcoming Event
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 7:00pm

Beams follows her story collection, We Show What We Have Learned—a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016—with a page-turner as thought provoking as it is viscerally fascinating. Set in 1871 but eerily contemporary, the narrative opens with Samuel Hood, a philosopher known for his romantic idealism, opening a school for girls. Though he has the best of intentions, the institution falls into chaos when the students begin manifesting strange symptoms, necessitating help from a predatory minister who subjects the patients to treatments as outrageous as their malady. In evocative, often lyrical prose, Beams explores issues of trust and authority and asks who has the right to young women’s bodies and stories.


The anonymous narrator of Beyda’s elegant psychological thriller is selling popcorn in a small-town movie house when a stranger named Max hires her as a stand-in for Rosanna Feld, a troubled celebrity whose breakdown is keeping her out of the public eye. Studying videos and immersing herself in Feld’s life, the narrator gradually loses a sense of her own identity. Then, as she makes her public debut as Feld, she’s troubled by a host of questions: is Max being honest, or is he hiding something? What really caused Feld’s collapse--and will she recover? Could the same thing befall Feld’s body double? Written in the vein of du Maurier’s Rebecca, Beyda’s debut is a fast-paced and chilling exploration of identity.



Politics and Prose at Union Market
1270 5th Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
Union Market
Fiction & Poetry
The Illness Lesson: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544665
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Doubleday - February 11th, 2020

The Body Double: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385545273
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Doubleday - March 3rd, 2020

Not Signed or Personalized