I suppose I should come up with a clever build up to the news, but I’m too jazzed to bother. I’m just going to blurt it out: I’ve got a book deal with Beacon Press. Beacon has a history of publishing smart, important works of non-fiction. I hope I don’t disappoint.
For the next fourteen months, I’m going to be heads down writing Women Warriors,* a global history of women for whom battle wasn’t a metaphor, written in a style that the Marginalia will find very familiar.** Depending on where you start counting, I’ve been working on this idea for two years, or maybe 30. I intend to look at both well-known and obscure examples, drawn from the ancient world through the modern day. Their stories will include lying, cheating, murder and revenge as well as defense of home, heart, nation, and religious conviction–sometimes in one story. Some of the stories I intend to tell involve simple acts of heroism, without regard to whether the way in which they fought was a “good war” or a pointless and bloody game of political dominoes.*** Others are both revered as national heroines and reviled as arch-villains, depending on which side of the battlefield your ancestors stood on. A few of the women I discuss led their nations into wars that were as bloody, stupid and greedy as those instigated by any of their historical male counterparts.
What does that mean for History in the Margins? Glad you asked. I still intend to publish regular posts about the historical topics I’m thinking about, though the topics may veer more heavily toward women at war than they have in the past. I’ll share any big news, but I’ll try not to clutter this space with posts about speaking gigs or small news. Instead I’m starting a newsletter where I’ll share news (when I have it) and talk about the process of thinking and writing about history. It will come out less often than History on the Margins, twice a month unless I have BIG news that just can’t wait.
If you’re interested in the newsletter, you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/cobpk9 . **** The first issue will be coming out soon.
Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride.
*The title may change. The idea will not.
**Complete with footnotes, asides, and a hint of attitude.
***The concept of a “good war” is tricky. One woman’s “good war” is another woman’s imperial land grab.
****This isn’t very elegant. I’m new at the newsletter business. If all goes smoothly, you should get a welcome e-mail from me after you confirm your subscription. Let me know if it works?