Yannick Murphy

Free shipping
Save 10%
By Yannick Murphy
In stock
2,05354 1,85153
In the cold October of 1917 Margaretha Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, sits in a prison cell in  Paris  awaiting trial on charges of espionage. The penalty is death by firing squad. As she waits, burdened by a secret guilt, Mata Hari tells stories, Scheherazade-like, to buy back her life from her interrogators. From a bleak childhood in the  Netherlands , through a loveless marriage to a Dutch naval officer, Margaretha is transported to the forbidden sensual pleasures of  Indonesia . In the chill of her prison cell she spins tales of rosewater baths, native lovers, and Javanese jungles, evoking the magical world that sustained her even as her family crumbled. And then, in flight from her husband, Margaretha reinvents herself: she becomes an artist's model, circus rider, and finally the temple dancer Mata Hari, dressed in veils, admired by Diaghilev, performing for the crowned heads of  Europe . Through all her transformations, her life's fatal questions  was  she a traitor, and if so, why? burns ever brighter. Does the literary world need another fictional tribute to Mata Hari? If it is penned by the inimitable Murphy (Here They Come, 2006), the answer is yes. Weaving back and forth in time between Mata Hari's prison cell in Paris and her prior life in its many manifestations, the seductive narrative spins an irresistible tale of a woman whose legendary exploits are still a matter of historical debate. Was she or was she not a victim of time and circumstance? Did she really deserve to be executed as a spy? In the end, it doesn't really matter, but what does matter is that Murphy has fashioned a mesmerizing novel that creatively reimagines the life of one of the most notorious, and perhaps overvilified, women of all time. Flanagan, Margaret
AuthorYannick Murphy BindingHardcover
Product filters