Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature

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Product Details
$29.99  $27.89
Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
6.31 X 9.18 X 1.23 inches | 1.21 pounds

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About the Author
Elizabeth Winkler is a journalist and book critic whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Economist, among other publications. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her master's in English literature from Stanford University. Her essay "Was Shakespeare a Woman?", first published in The Atlantic, was selected for The Best American Essays 2020. She lives in Washington, DC.
"No, Elizabeth Winkler doesn't reveal the true identity of the writer Ruth Bader Ginsburg termed "the literary genius known by the name William Shakespeare." But she does explain how we've wound up with, among an army of others, a republican Shakespeare and a monarchist Shakespeare, a Shakespeare who hated his wife and one who loved his, a Shakespeare who wrote all the plays and a Shakespeare who could not write at all. Along her intrepid way, Winkler charts, with refreshing clarity, the much-contested ground underfoot, studded with flinty convictions, gnarled fictions, and a surprising number of land mines."
--Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Revolutionary
"Elizabeth Winkler is blessed with the clear-eyed wit of a heroine in a Shakespearean comedy. Her undoing of the fools in the forest of the authorship question is iconoclasm As You Like It--joy to behold, lesson for us all."
--Lewis Lapham, founder of Lapham's Quarterly
"Elizabeth Winkler's Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies is one of the most engaging, riveting, scholarly, and challenging whodunits anyone with an interest in theater, human psychology, literature, and history can hope to read. Following in the footsteps of Henry James, Mark Twain, Mark Rylance, and innumerable other skeptics, Winkler writes about what has been essentially a centuries old theological dispute about the origins of Shakespeare's astounding body of work like a Shakespearean drama itself: full of complex characters with false reputations and deceptive appearances."
--Bessel van der Kolk, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps Score
"An extraordinarily brilliant and scholarly work, written with an unyielding sleuthing instinct and sparkling with pleasurably naughty moments. This page-turner is mesmerizing."
--André Aciman, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Call Me by Your Name
"A perfect introduction to a world of unbridled passion, retribution, and intrigue--I refer of course to the Shakespeare authorship question. Brilliant and mind-blowing."
--Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Booth
"A fascinating read. Winkler boldly pushes against traditional boundaries of gender and identity to show that meaning can be constructed in many different ways."
--Amanda Foreman, PhD, internationally bestselling author of Georgiana
"Deeply researched and fearlessly reported, this book takes on what Winkler terms the 'literary malpractice' and mob mentality of elite Shakespeare scholars invested in maintaining comfortable yet deeply problematic narratives. Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies is, at heart, an impassioned call to re-examine history and evidence (and lack thereof)--and to pursue scholarly truth even in the face of vicious opposition."
--Lesley Blume, New York Times bestselling author of Everybody Behaves Badly
"Winkler's prose is smooth, her jokes land, her synthesis of the considerable amounts of research she's done is gracefully rendered, and she has a keen eye for the foibles of Shakespeare biographers."
"Lively.... Winkler is a crackerjack researcher, deftly laying out the myriad questions, arguments and mysteries swirling around Shakespeare."
--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post