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Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2007
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Available from OverDrive
Description
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/14/2007
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316145534
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Yannick Murphy. (2007). Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Yannick Murphy. 2007. Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Yannick Murphy, Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Yannick Murphy. Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:10:32
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:27
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 21, 2021 07:03:22
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Check:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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        Yannick Murphy is the author of Stories in Another Language, The Sea of Trees, and Here They Come. She lives in Reading, Vermont, with her husband and three children.

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Signed, Mata Hari
fullDescription
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.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 23, 2007
        In life, at least before the espionage charges, it was Mata Hari’s body that made her mesmerizing; in this alluring novel, it is her hypnotic voice. As softly poetic as it is insistent, it entices the reader from the first lines to give Mata Hari what she always craved: not the secrets that are the currency of a spy, but the rapt attention that is oxygen to a performer. Shifting time and perspective, the tale moves among Mata Hari’s early childhood in the late 19th-century Netherlands, her years in Java as a caring young mother married to a brutal military man, her glamorous but desperate career as a famed dancer and courtesan and her bleak existence in a Paris prison after her arrest as a spy for Germany during WWI. Murphy (Here They Come
        ) sticks with the true ending to her subject’s story, which was death by firing squad, and what makes the novel an unlikely achievement is how Murphy nurtures, before the shots are fired, a potent skepticism about the guilt of a woman whose name even today is synonymous with treachery. In its subdued way, this novel is an eloquent cri de coeur and a belated witness for the defense.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2007
        The award-winning Murphy ("Here They Come") has extrapolated from details of the life of legendary Dutch dancer and suspected World War I spy Mata Hari to create a fictional persona marked by sensitivity, desperation, and longing. The novel begins with an imagined scenario in which this daring woman remembers skipping school as a child to take a death-defying walk in the ocean at low tide. The memory of this incident functions as something of a thread of courage for Margaretha Zelle, a.k.a. Mata Hari, throughout her adult life. Margaretha went from an abusive marriage spent mainly on an island in the South Pacific to a career as a famous burlesque dancer and courtesan to imprisonment in 1917 Paris as a suspected German spy. Murphy reconfigures the narrative in various ways, moving, for example, between chapters describing Mata Hari's current imprisonment and chapters recounting her pasta technique that effectively builds tension concerning Mata Hari's fate. Though the novel is as fascinating as Mata Hari herself and occasionally brilliant in the way it re-creates her life, some readers may not find the protagonist's voice or painful circumstances to their liking. Nevertheless, this is recommended for most fiction collections as a haunting portrayal of an intriguing woman.Maureen Neville, Trenton P.L., N.J.

        Copyright 2007 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 1, 2007
        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 Haris 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 doesnt 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2007, American Library Association.)

popularity
39
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shortDescription
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, dress...
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awards
      • source: Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
      • value: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee - Best Book
subtitle
A Novel
publisher
Little, Brown and Company