2019 International Dublin Literary Award nominee 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction semifinalist Best Fiction, Kirkus Reviews, 2017 Best Debut Novels, Kirkus Reviews, 2017 Top 20 First Novels of 2017, Booklist New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice New York TimesBook Review Paperback Row Choice An Indie Next Great Reads Pick in Hardcover and Paperback FNAC's Top Novels to Read in 2020 (France) WHSmith 2018 Fresh Talent selection (UK) Bookbrowse Editors' Choice Literary Guild Book Club Selection Doubleday Book Club Selection First Fiction: What's Next in 2017, BookPage The Best New Fiction, The Mail on Sunday, UK Kirkus' 13 Fiction Debuts & Breakthroughs That Live Up to the Hype Kirkus' 9 Excellent Reads for Labor Day Weekend Bustle's 9 Fall Debuts By Women To Read Immediately Nantucket Magazine’s 7 for September 2017 Literary Hub's 14 Books to Read This August Entertainment Weekly’s Thirteen Books to Read in August San Diego Magazine’s Your Book Shelf: 5 Books to Read in August
KIRKUS REVIEWS, Starred Review: From the start, one wonders how Wolas is possibly going to pay off the idea that her heroine is such a genius. Verdict: few could do better.
KIRKUS REVIEWS, FULLY BOOKED PODCAST: A tour de force. The literary equivalent of Athena springing fully formed from the head of Zeus.
BOOKPAGE, Starred Review: It’s almost impossible to believe this is the first novel by Cherise Wolas. Gorgeously written and completely captivating, the book spans decades and continents, deftly capturing the tug so many women feel between motherhood and self-identity.
BOOKLIST, Starred Review: 'A story requires two things: a great story to tell and the bravery to tell it,’ Joan observes. Wolas’ debut expertly checks off both boxes.
LIBRARY JOURNAL, Starred Review: Debut author Wolas' sure hand applies layer upon layer of precisely meshed poetic and cinematic scenes to realize a life of such quiet majesty and original consideration of family interplay that she does the impossible. Readers not only will mourn coming to the end, they will feel compelled to start over to watch the miracle of this novel unfold again. Breathtaking.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY SHELF TALKER: The scope of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, the breadth of its engagement with the reader, the impressive realization of its ambitious literary character, all resonated so deeply that the pages of other books offered naught but hollow echoes. Not only has Wolas succeeded in creating a character presented as a literary icon, complete with accompanying primary text, but she powerfully engages the reader through an exploration of personal identity.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Wolas' powerhouse debut novel takes readers on an emotional ride, while tackling questions about the ways in which women are sometimes forced to choose between love of family and self-actualization.
HUFFINGTON POST, Starred Review: An audacious balancing act whose betrayals come from the least expected corners, submerging readers in a dazzling universe we hate to leave.
BUSTLE: Everyone will find a bit of themselves in Joan Ashby, as she struggles with parenthood over career, selflessness over selfishness. The stories within the main story...get into the mind of this fictional author who is too real on the page to not actually exist.
LITERARY HUB: Resurrection wrestles with the artist's life in ways no writer has attempted since Woolf. You will not come away unchanged, and you will continue to think about Joan Ashby’s path long after you put down this debut novel that dares to consider whether becoming a mother is worth it, or not.
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW: Ambitious. Intimate. Terrific.
FULL STOP, A LEONARD PRIZE REVIEW: The artistry of Cherise Wolas’ empathetic and resonant portrait of Joan Ashby, a woman who struggles every day to understand herself and to live the life that is true and authentic for her. Vivid, revelatory writing that cracks open the intricate and subtle. Wolas explores how a life's rhythms, distractions and experiences influence the creative process. And how an artist's life irrepressibly leaches into her work.
ELLE MAGAZINE, FRANCE A brilliant first novel that paints the portrait of a woman in search of liberation and resurrection.
MADAME FIGARO, FRANCE Brilliant!
COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE, FRANCE We love this portrait of a woman struggling with her deep aspirations and taking back her destiny. Fantastic!
LE FIGARO LITTERATURE, FRANCE The novelist boldly renews the portrait of a woman torn between motherhood and her personal aspirations. Extraordinary writing.
CAFE POWELL, FRANCE Intensely psychological, rich in introspection, exciting, excellent, complex, and ambitious. Maternity as metaphor for the literary life: gestation is long, childbirth is complicated, literature has to be earned. Fascinating and brilliant.
INDEPENDENT, IRELAND Astonishing. A gorgeous read, big and bold, intelligent and thought-provoking . . . an incredible book that reads nothing like a debut, so self-assured the writing, so expansive and wholly immersive the plot.
THE TORONTO STAR: A startlingly self-assured debut novel spanning decades and rendered in luminous prose throughout…A deeply feminist novel, but one free of didacticism and ideological baggage.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Canada: Wolas...shines a light on many uncomfortable, fascinating truths.
DAILY MAIL, UK, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: An extraordinary, assured and deeply involving novel about marriage, motherhood, sacrifice and the creative impulse.
THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, UK, THE BEST NEW FICTION: Wolas is an impressive prose stylist. Interspersed with...extracts from her fictional author's work, her ambitious debut novel about how domesticity is a hindrance and deterrent to creativity is inventive and engaging.
SOUTHERN LIVING: Wolas’ debut turns a critical and perceptive eye onto the complications and expectations of marriage. It’s also gorgeously written. Get into it.
NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS: A stunning debut novel…a wealth of superb writing, mature insights, and breathtaking risks....A rare book such as this comes along only once in a long while.
NEWSDAY: Dazzling. A fascinating...take on the relationship between motherhood and literary ambition.
THE THREAD, MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO: Absolutely brilliant. I would read all of Joan Ashby's books, and that's a testament to the absolute ridiculous skill that Cherise Wolas has. And it's her first book. I can't get over that. I can't wait to see what's next.
THE INDIE BOOK JOURNAL: A stunning literary novel about writing, life, and motherhood.Bristles with brilliant characters. The prose is absolutely delicious.
LILITH: Big, bold...the novel is too ambitious to ignore. Wolas's own talent is undeniable. It is among the most thrilling prose I have read in a long time.
NEXT TRIBE, BOOK OF THE MOMENT: One of the most impressive debuts of 2017. I was entertained and impressed. I was jealous of the abundance of its invention.
A.M. Homes, New York Times bestselling author of May We Be Forgiven, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction: A stunning debut—because there is nothing debut about it. It arrives so fully realized that it stuns as it entertains, as it twirls the reader on the sharp point of a #2 pencil. Ashby is so well rendered that I found myself jealous of her (and Wolas) and also wishing she were my best friend and that we had a standing drinks date. Wolas is singular in her voice—and yet the delicacy, the specificity reminds me of my most favorite authors: J.D. Salinger, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Joan Didion.
Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Book: This the kind of book that pulls you under and you go willingly. And when it’s over, you come up for air and see anew. In giving us the story of one woman’s struggle to write her own life, Wolas captures worlds in worlds here, and lives in lives. As many currents run in a single river, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is rich and wide, and deep.
Ivy Pochoda, author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street: An audacious and dynamic first novel. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a remarkable tapestry of literary skill, emotional insight, and sensational storytelling.