'A counter-romance, alternately hilarious and tragic' Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair
It is 1876 and Poland's greatest actress, Maryna Zalezowska, is setting off for the new world. At thirty-five she has decided to start a new life and so, accompanied by her family and entourage, emigrates to the US to found a 'utopian commune' in California. When the commune fails, Maryna stays, and reinvents herself again, rocketing to worldwide fame as a theatrical diva, who makes audiences weep and who, it seems, is unstoppable. Based on the real life of a celebrated Polish actress, this lush, expansive and multilayered novel is a richly detailed portrayal of a woman's self-transformation, of love, idealism, play-acting and how we all see ourselves.
'Brave and beautiful . . . a story that tells many stories with élan, intelligence and delight' Washington Post Book World