Sena Jeter Naslund books in order – The Complete List 06/2024

Sena Jeter Naslund is an American author known for her literary works with themes revolving around historical fiction, women’s lives, and social issues. She has written a total of six books, including the critically acclaimed novels “Ahab’s Wife” and “Four Spirits.” Naslund’s writing often explores the complexities of human relationships and the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

Sena Jeter Naslund Books in Order

  1. Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer
  2. Abundance
  3. Four Spirits
  4. Adam & Eve
  5. The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman
  6. Sherlock in Love
  7. The Disobedience of Water
  8. Ice Skating at the North Pole
  9. The Animal Way to Love
  10. High Horse: Contemporary Writing by the MFA Faculty of Spalding University

Overview of Sena Jeter Naslund Books in Order

Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer

“Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer” by Sena Jeter Naslund is a novel that follows the life of Una Spenser, the wife of Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” The novel delves into Una’s childhood, her coming-of-age experiences, her marriage to Ahab, and her subsequent life after his death. Through Una’s journey, the reader is taken on a rich and vivid exploration of 19th-century America, touching upon themes such as feminism, spirituality, and the pursuit of knowledge.

The protagonist Una is a strong, independent woman who defies societal norms and expectations for women of her time. She is passionate about learning, reading, and exploring the world, which sets her on a unique path in life. Along the way, Una encounters various historical figures, experiences personal tragedies, and finds solace and purpose in her connection to the natural world. The novel is a compelling and immersive portrayal of a woman’s resilience, determination, and quest for meaning and fulfillment.

Naslund’s writing in “Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer” is lyrical and evocative, drawing the reader into Una’s world with vivid descriptions and poignant insights. The novel offers a fresh perspective on the well-known story of “Moby-Dick,” providing a deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations. It is a captivating and thought-provoking read that celebrates the power of the human spirit and the pursuit of one’s dreams amidst the challenges of life.


“Abundance” by Sena Jeter Naslund is a historical novel that tells the story of Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution. The book follows Marie from her arrival in France as a naive and innocent young princess, to her tumultuous years as queen, and ultimately to her tragic end at the guillotine. Through vivid and detailed descriptions, Naslund brings to life the opulence of the French court and the tumultuous political atmosphere leading up to the revolution. The story also delves into Marie’s personal struggles, including her complex relationship with her husband King Louis XVI, her attempts to fulfill her duties as a queen, and her efforts to find love and acceptance amidst betrayal and political upheaval.

Readers are immersed in the world of 18th century France, experiencing the lavishness of court life as well as the growing unrest and discontent among the French people. Naslund’s meticulous research and rich prose bring the characters and setting to life, making for a gripping and immersive read. The novel also explores themes of power, privilege, and the human cost of political and societal change. Through Marie Antoinette’s journey, Naslund offers a nuanced and humanizing portrayal of a historical figure often vilified in popular culture, crafting a compelling and empathetic narrative that sheds new light on a pivotal period in history.

“Abundance” is a meticulously researched and beautifully written novel that offers a fresh and empathetic perspective on the life and legacy of Marie Antoinette. Naslund’s vivid prose and attention to historical detail bring the world of 18th century France to life, allowing readers to experience the opulence of the royal court and the palpable tension leading up to the French Revolution. The novel presents a captivating portrayal of Marie Antoinette’s personal struggles and political challenges, shedding new light on a complex and often misunderstood historical figure. Through rich storytelling and in-depth character development, Naslund creates an immersive and thought-provoking narrative that offers a compelling glimpse into the life and legacy of one of history’s most iconic figures.

Four Spirits

“Four Spirits” by Sena Jeter Naslund is a historical fiction novel set in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. The story follows the lives of several characters, including Stella, a young college student and activist, and Christine, a black maid who works for a white family. As the civil rights movement gains momentum, the characters are faced with difficult choices and the threat of violence as they fight for equality and justice.

The novel explores the impact of the civil rights movement on the lives of its characters, as well as the broader community of Birmingham. It depicts the struggles, triumphs, and sacrifices of those involved in the movement, and the lasting effects it had on race relations in the South. Through vivid storytelling and compelling characters, Naslund brings to life this pivotal moment in American history and the individuals who fought for change.

“Four Spirits” is a powerful and moving novel that offers a window into the tumultuous era of the civil rights movement. Naslund’s rich prose and deep understanding of the historical context make this a captivating and thought-provoking read that sheds light on the ongoing struggle for racial equality in America.

Adam & Eve

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The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman

“The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman” by Sena Jeter Naslund follows the intertwining stories of two women: one, a famous artist named Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun who lived in the 18th century, and the other, a contemporary writer named Kathryn Callaghan. As Kathryn struggles with her own art and identity, she becomes obsessed with the life of Vigée-Le Brun and begins to imagine her own version of the artist’s story. Through Kathryn’s musings and writings, the novel explores themes of creativity, history, and the enduring power of art.

Naslund’s novel is a richly layered exploration of the artistic process and the complexities of female identity. The book delves into the lives of two women from different time periods who are both grappling with the challenges of being artists and women in their respective societies. Naslund weaves together historical detail with the contemporary narrative, creating a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of art and the passage of time. The novel offers a compelling portrait of two women who are connected across centuries by their shared struggles and passions.

“The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman” is a captivating and imaginative work that invites readers to ponder the intersection of art, history, and personal expression. Naslund’s lyrical prose and keen insights into the human experience make this novel a deeply engaging and rewarding read. Through the parallel stories of Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun and Kathryn Callaghan, the novel explores the enduring power of art and the ways in which creativity can transcend time and space.

Sherlock in Love

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The Disobedience of Water

“The Disobedience of Water” by Sena Jeter Naslund follows the story of an artist named Claire Shaw. Struggling with the recent death of her husband and the growing distance between her and her daughter, Claire travels to France to fulfill her late husband’s wish to scatter his ashes in the River Seine. This journey becomes a catalyst for self-discovery as Claire confronts her own feelings of guilt, loss, and longing. Along the way, she encounters a diverse cast of characters and experiences moments of both despair and hope, ultimately finding solace in the beauty and unpredictability of life.

As Claire navigates the complex emotions surrounding grief and personal growth, Naslund weaves in themes of nature, art, and the interconnectedness of humanity. The novel delves into the idea of water as a metaphor for disobedience and change, reflecting the fluidity and resilience of the human spirit. Through Claire’s introspective journey, the narrative explores the power of love, forgiveness, and the universal need for connection and understanding. Through rich and lyrical prose, Naslund crafts a poignant and deeply emotional story that resonates with readers on a profound and intimate level.

“The Disobedience of Water” is a compelling and introspective exploration of loss, healing, and the human experience. With Naslund’s evocative storytelling and vivid imagery, the novel offers a captivating and deeply moving portrayal of one woman’s emotional journey towards acceptance and renewal. As Claire grapples with her own inner turmoil and external obstacles, the novel ultimately celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of love and connection.

Ice Skating at the North Pole

“Ice Skating at the North Pole” by Sena Jeter Naslund follows the story of a young girl named Flit as she embarks on a magical journey to the North Pole. Through a series of extraordinary events, Flit discovers the joy of ice skating and the beauty of the Arctic landscape. Along the way, she encounters various fascinating characters and creatures, each adding to the enchanting nature of her adventure.

As Flit navigates the icy terrain, she learns valuable lessons about perseverance, friendship, and the importance of caring for the environment. The novel weaves together elements of fantasy and reality, captivating readers with its imaginative storytelling and vivid descriptions of the Arctic setting. Through Flit’s experiences, readers are reminded of the importance of preserving nature and cherishing the wonders of the natural world.

With its engaging narrative and endearing protagonist, “Ice Skating at the North Pole” is a heartwarming tale that celebrates the magic of childhood and the power of imagination. Naslund’s lyrical prose and evocative imagery bring the North Pole to life, allowing readers to immerse themselves in its breathtaking splendor. Ultimately, the novel inspires readers to appreciate the beauty of the world around them and to embrace the sense of wonder that comes with exploring new and enchanting places.

The Animal Way to Love

“The Animal Way to Love” by Sena Jeter Naslund is a heartwarming novel that explores the connection between humans and animals. The story follows a young woman named Charlotte who finds herself drawn to a wolf sanctuary in the mountains of North Carolina. There, she meets a charismatic wolf named Katie and forms a deep bond with her. As Charlotte becomes more involved with the sanctuary and its inhabitants, she discovers the healing power of animals and the profound impact they can have on human lives.

The novel also delves into the lives of the sanctuary’s staff and volunteers, each of whom has their own unique relationship with the animal residents. Through their experiences, the book highlights the ways in which animals can bring joy, comfort, and purpose to people’s lives. As Charlotte navigates her own personal struggles, she finds solace and strength in the interconnectedness of all living beings, ultimately learning valuable lessons about love, compassion, and resilience.

“The Animal Way to Love” is a moving exploration of the human-animal bond and the ways in which animals can teach us important lessons about empathy, connection, and healing. With its richly drawn characters and beautiful descriptions of the natural world, the novel is a poignant reminder of the power of love and the transformative impact of relationships with animals.

High Horse: Contemporary Writing by the MFA Faculty of Spalding University

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About Sena Jeter Naslund

Sena Jeter Naslund, a New York Times best-selling author, has written five novels, including Ahab’s Wife (1999) and Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (HarperCollins, 2006). She currently holds the position of Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville and serves as the program director of the Spalding University brief-residency Master in Fine Arts in Writing. Naslund has received the Harper Lee Award and the Southeastern Library Association Fiction Award and is a co-founder of The Louisville Review and the Fleur-de-Lis Press. She resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Author Sena Jeter Naslund

Sena Jeter Naslund’s books offer a thought-provoking exploration of various ideological themes, including the nature of love and relationships, the pursuit of knowledge and truth, and the complexities of morality and human behavior. Through her compelling characters and intricate storytelling, Naslund invites readers to question their own beliefs and values, while also inspiring them to seek understanding and empathy for others. Her beautifully crafted narratives remind us of the power of literature to stimulate intellectual growth and introspection, leaving a lasting impression on those who delve into her works.

FAQs about author Sena Jeter Naslund

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Published at 9:39 - 16/05/2024
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