Alexander Chee

http://www.thequeenofthenight.com

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at VQR and The Lit Hub, and a critic at large for The Los Angeles Times. His essays and stories have appeared in Best American Essays 2016, The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, and Out, among others. He is a winner of the Whiting Award, fellowships from the NEA and the MCCA, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He has taught writing at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Columbia University, the University of Texas – Austin and Princeton University. He lives in New York, NY.

Sessions

Books

Queen of the Night

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.

As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation -- or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.