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Sue Monk Kidd

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About This Author

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of the bestselling novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair, as well as the award-winning The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and God's Joyful Surprise.

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Sue Monk Kidd is the author of the bestselling novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair, as well as the award-winning The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and God's Joyful Surprise.

Books by thisAuthor
  • The Invention of Wings

    The Invention of Wings
    A Novel
    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements. Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

    The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees
    A Novel (10th-Anniversary Edition)
    A beautiful slipcased special edition commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, a heartwarming coming of age tale set in 1960s South Carolina and a multi-million copy New York Times bestseller as well as a Good Morning America “Read This” Book Club pick Fans of Kathryn Stockett’sThe Help and Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt will love Sue Monk Kidd’s Southern coming of age tale. The Secret Life of Bees was a New York Times bestseller for more than 125 weeks, a Good Morning America “Read This” Book Club pick and was made into an award-winning film starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love.  To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the book’s debut, Penguin presents a beautiful special edition of this wonderful novel, including a new introduction by the author—a gorgeous book that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

    The Mermaid Chair

    The Mermaid Chair
    The New York Times–bestselling second novel by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings (Viking, January 2014) Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion. When Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother’s seemingly inexplicable behavior, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life “molded to the smallest space possible.” Jessie loves Hugh, but once on the island, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk about to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right and the immutable force of home and marriage. Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie’s life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to comes discover selfhood and a place of belonging as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.

    Traveling with Pomegranates

    Traveling with Pomegranates
    A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred...
    The New York Times–bestselling memoir of pilgrimage and metamorphosis by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings (Viking, January 2014) and her daughter Sue Monk Kidd has touched the hearts of millions of readers with her beloved novels and acclaimed nonfiction. Now, in this wise and engrossing dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, chronicle their travels together through Greece and France at a time when each was on a quest to redefine herself and rediscover each other. As Sue struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel, and Ann ponders the classic question of what to do with her life, this modern-day Demeter and Persephone explore an array of inspiring figures and sacred sites. They also give voice to that most protean of human connections: the bond of mothers and daughters.  

  • Firstlight

    Firstlight
    The Early Inspirational Writings
    From the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and the new novel The Invention of Wings (Viking, January 2014) comes a thoughtful, revelatory book of writings on self and spirit Before she won an international readership with her novels, Sue Monk Kidd was best known for her smart, passionate spiritual writings. Now many of those early stories and essays (most of which first appeared in Guideposts) are collected in one volume, organized around thirteen spiritual motifs. In Firstlight, Kidd charts her emergence as a writer and seeker; reflects on her roles as wife, mother, daughter, nurse, and artist; and assesses what she has learned in settings as far-flung as Africa and her own home. The result is an intimate, uplifting book, filled with moments of recognition and discovery.  

    The Secret Life of Bees - Multiple Critical Perspectives

    The Secret Life of Bees - Multiple Critical Perspectives
    Probe the depth and richness of your favorite titles and usher your students into an understanding of what really made us want to teach literature in the first place. Each guide offers clear and concise explanations of three different critical perspectives.

    The Secret Life of Bees - Downloadable Multiple Critical Perspectives

    The Secret Life of Bees - Downloadable Multiple Critical Perspectives
    Probe the depth and richness of your favorite titles and usher your students into an understanding of what really made us want to teach literature in the first place. Each guide offers clear and concise explanations of three different critical perspectives.

    The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees
    A Novel
    Unabridged CDs, 8 CDs, 10 hours Read by Jenna Lamia Now a major motion picture starring Queen Latifa, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo.

  • Moonlight on Linoleum

    Moonlight on Linoleum
    A Daughter's Memoir
    Even if others abandon you, you must never abandon yourself. This simple truth became Terry Helwig’s lifeline as she was forced to grow up too soon. Terry grew up the oldest of six girls in the big-sky country of the American Southwest, where she attended twelve schools in eleven years. Helwig’s stepfather Davy, a good-hearted and loving man, proudly purchased a mobile home to enable his family to move more easily from one oil town to another, where Davy eked out a living in the oil fields. Terry’s mother, Carola Jean, a wild rose whose love often pierced those who tried to claim her, had little interest in the confines of home and motherhood. In Davy’s absence, she sought companionship in local watering holes—a pastime she dubbed “visiting Timbuktu.” She repeatedly left Terry in charge of the household and her five younger sisters. Despite Carola Jean’s genuine attempts to “better herself,” her life spiraled ever downward as Terry struggled to keep the family whole. In the midst of transience and upheaval, Terry and her sisters forged an uncommon bond of sisterhood that withstood the erosion of Davy and Carola Jean’s marriage. But ultimately, to keep her own dreams alive, Terry had to decide when to hold on to what she loved and when to let go. Unflinching in its portrayal, yet told with humor and compassion, Terry Helwig’s luminous memoir, Moonlight on Linoleum, explores a family’s inner and outer landscapes of hope, despair, and redemption. It will make you laugh, cry, and hunger for more.

    With Open Hands

    With Open Hands
    Updated for a new generation with moving photography and a foreword by Sue Monk Kidd, this volume has been a treasured introduction to prayer for more than thirty years. (Catholic)

    New Seeds of Contemplation

    New Seeds of Contemplation
    New Seeds of Contemplation is one of Thomas Merton's most widely read and best-loved books. Christians and non-Christians alike have joined in praising it as a notable successor in the meditative tradition of St. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and the medieval mystics, while others have compared Merton's reflections with those of Thoreau. New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit so long neglected by Western man, to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our lives. For Merton, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."

    When the Heart Waits

    When the Heart Waits
    Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions
    From the Bestselling Author of The Secret Life of Bees, an Inspiring Autobiographical Account of Personal Pain, Spiritual Awakening, and Divine Grace Blending her own experiences with an intimate grasp of spirituality, Sue Monk Kidd relates the passionate and moving tale of her spiritual crisis, when life seemed to have lost meaning and her longing for a hasty escape from the pain yielded to a discipline of "active waiting." This PLUS edition includes a reader's guide.

  • The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

    The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
    A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to...
    "I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised, and, in fact, a little terrified, when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening." ––Sue Monk Kidd For years, Sue Monk Kidd was a conventionally religious woman. Then, in the late 1980s, Kidd experienced an unexpected awakening, and began a journey toward a feminine spirituality. With the exceptional storytelling skills that have helped make her name, author of When the Heart Waits tells her very personal story of the fear, anger, healing, and freedom she experienced on the path toward the wholeness that many women have lost in the church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore, to monastery retreats and to rituals in the caves of Crete, she reveals a new level of feminine spiritual consciousness for all women– one that retains a meaningful connection with the "deep song of Christianity," embraces the sacredness of ordinary women's experience, and has the power to transform in the most positive ways every fundamental relationship in a woman's life– her marriage, her career, and her religion. This Plus edition paperback includes a recent interview with the author conducted by the book's editor Michael Maudlin.

    God's Joyful Surprise

    God's Joyful Surprise
    Finding Yourself Loved
    One of today's most promising new Christian writers explores the thrilling possibilities of God's everlasting love.

    All Things Are Possible

    All Things Are Possible

    United We Stand

    United We Stand
    Reflections on a True Democracy

  • La vida secreta de las abejas

    La vida secreta de las abejas
    Ambientada en Carolina del Sur en 1964, La vida secreta de las abejas es la historia de Lily Owens, cuya vida ha sido formada alrededor del recuerdo confuso de la tarde en que su madre fue asesinada. Cuando Rosaleen, la bravía madre postiza negra de Lily, insulta a tres de las personas más racistas del pueblo, Lily decide que ambas deben ser libres. Ellas escapan a Tiburón, Carolina del Sur, un pueblo que guarda el secreto del pasado de su madre. Alojadas por un excéntrico trío de hermanas negras apicultoras, Lily es introducida al fascinante mundo de las abejas y la miel, y a la Virgen Negra. Esta es una novela notable sobre el poder divino femenino, una historia que las mujeres compartirán y pasarán a sus hijas por generaciones.

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