Cake Walk

Marie Antoinette gets her due in a new novel.

Cleveland theater
Talk about timing. With Sofia Coppola's flashy biopic Marie Antoinette hitting screens next week and a recent PBS doc, the long-dead French monarch is a hot Hollywood property. Now Kentucky Poet Laureate Sena Jeter Naslund fictionalizes Antoinette's story in Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette. "She's an exciting subject," says Naslund. "Her story is like a reverse fairytale."

Abundance takes a few liberties with history, including invented dialogue, but the main events were thoroughly researched. "I tried to be scrupulous about the facts, but still see the story from her perspective," says Naslund. "I tried to make the way she's thinking consistent with the sorts of things she's written in her letters." Naslund — whose 1999 bestseller, Ahab's Wife, was a look at Moby-Dick's fanatical captain through the eyes of his spouse — says that Antoinette oftens gets a bad rap. "She was actually quite a compassionate person," Naslund says. "She was a convenient scapegoat. She never would have been so callous as to say, ‘Let them eat cake.'"
Thu., Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Things to Do articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.