Advance Praise for The Mapmaker’s Daughter
A heartbreaking read that marries a strong story arc with a dedication to historical details.
― Booklist (*starred review)
A fascinating evocation of the major players of the Ottoman renaissance.
― Kirkus Reviews
When the fiction is good, the history is usually distorted, and on the rare occasions when the history is good, the fiction is usually less interesting than the straight historical narrative. This novel is a remarkable exception . . . part history, part fiction, it is enthralling.
― Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, Princeton University
Of all the appetites the lust for power is the strongest—and most dangerous. This is a lively, absorbing and utterly convincing self-portrait of a woman who came under the influence of the greatest of all Ottoman sultans—with tragic consequences.
― Edmund White, author of Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris
Based on a historical event of rare improbability—the rise in the sixteenth century of a daughter of Venice to the rank of Queen Mother in the mighty Ottoman Empire—this novel is a gorgeous feat of imagination, a stellar work by a gifted writer.
― Arnold Rampersand, Stanford University, author of Ralph Ellison
About the Book
Narrating the spectacular story of her rise to the pinnacle of imperial power, Queen Mother Nurbanu, on her sickbed, is determined to understand how her bond with the greatest of all Ottoman sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, shaped her destiny – not only as the wife of his successor but as the appointed enforcer of one of the Empire’s most crucial and shocking laws. Nurbanu spares nothing as she dissects the desires and motives that have propelled and harmed her; as she considers her role as devoted and manipulative mother; as she reckons her relations with the women of the Harem; and as she details the fate of the most sophisticated observatory in the world. Nurbanu sets out to “see” the causes and effects of her loves and choices, and she succeeds by means of unflinching candor – right up to the last shattering revelation.
About the Author
KATHERINE NOURI HUGHES, Iraqi-Irish by birth, has spent much of her career as a speech-writer. She has published two books on K-12 education, been a communications executive in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and serves on the boards of the American University in Cairo, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and WNET/13, the public television station. She attended Princeton University where she received a Masters Degree in Near Eastern Studies. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey and has two daughters and two grandchildren. The Mapmaker’s Daughter is her first novel.