The Book of Longings: A Novel (50 page)


I am grateful to the following people and resources that helped me bring Ana’s story to life.

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, my extraordinary agent and cherished friend, as well as Margaret Riley King, Tracy Fisher, Matilda Forbes Watson, Haley Heidemann, Natalie Guerrero, Zoe Beard-Fails, and Alyssa Eatherly, all invaluable members of the William Morris Endeavor team.

My brilliant editor, Paul Slovak, along with Brian Tart, Andrea Schulz, Kate Stark, Louise Braverman, Lindsay Prevette, Shannon Twomey, Britta Galanis, Allie Merola, Roseanne Serra, and the entire amazing team at Viking, all of whom have given me and this novel immense support, expertise, and enthusiasm.

Marion Donaldson and Headline Publishing, my wonderful UK editor and publisher.

Ann Kidd Taylor, my first reader, who offered me amazing feedback and insights. I would hate to write a book without her.

The many scholars whose books, lectures, and documentaries on the historical Jesus, the people, culture, religion, politics, and history of first-century Palestine and Alexandria, biblical interpretation, the Gnostic
Gospels, and women and gender in religion formed the mainstay of my research. The Biblical Archaeology Society, which provided me with excellent resources. The Great Courses for their videotaped academic lectures.

The new translation of
The Thunder: Perfect Mind
by Hal Taussig, Jared Calaway, Maia Kotrosits, Celene Lillie, and Justin Lasser, with gratitude to Palgrave Macmillan for permission to quote from it.

Scott Taylor, for exceptional business and technical support.

Terry Helwig, Trisha Sinnott, and Curly Clark, who gave me endless listening and encouragement as I contemplated the idea for this book and worked to bring it into being.

My family, children, grandchildren, and parents, who fill my life with so much goodness and love, especially my husband, Sandy, with whom I’m blessed to share my life. Since that long-ago day when I turned thirty and announced to him I wanted to be a writer, he has offered me infinite believing and encouragement . . . for this book especially.

About the Author

Sue Monk Kidd's debut,
The Secret Life of Bees
, spent more than 100 weeks on the
New York Times
bestseller list, has sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S., was turned into an award-winning major motion picture and a musical, and has been translated into 36 languages. Her second novel,
The Mermaid Chair
, was a #1
New York Times
bestseller and was adapted into a television movie. Her third novel,
The Invention of Wings
, an Oprah's Book Club 2.0 pick, was also a #1
New York Times
bestseller. She is the author of the acclaimed memoirs
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
, a groundbreaking work on religion and feminism, and the
New York Times
Traveling with Pomegranates
, written with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor.

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