Rebecca Kanner's new novel is Esther.
From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: Why did you decide to write a novel based on the story of Queen Esther?Visit Rebecca Kanner's website.
A: I had originally...set out to write stories about the women in Genesis. I didn’t get very far; I wrote Sinners and the Sea [about Noah’s wife], and then I wanted to go beyond Genesis and write the story of Esther.
In the Megillah, her submissiveness and reaching for Mordecai [didn’t seem sufficient]—it takes more than a pretty face to win a king. I wanted her to be a little smarter. I wanted her to wait to tell the king she was Jewish because [of her intelligence].
Q: How much of your novel was taken from the biblical story of Esther and how much is your own invention?
A: I took the basics from the story, but there was still a lot to fill in. I like the writings of Herodotus. I wanted to mostly stick with the Megillah, but add to it, in the Jewish tradition of midrash, coming up with an explanation of why Esther delayed telling the king she was...[read on]