Sarah Johnson

About me

Librarian, HNS book review editor, readers’ advisor, author of Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre and Historical Fiction II. I first joined the HNS in 1998 after seeing Richard Lee’s post about the Society on a Usenet group. Shortly thereafter I signed on as a US-based reviews editor and got the word out about the magazine to American readers and publishers. Now, 15 years later, I serve as the overall book review editor for the Historical Novels Review. I’ve been reading and collecting historical novels for many years and also review for Booklist and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. I’ve also written for Bookmarks Magazine and Canada’s Globe & Mail. For my full-time job, I work as a reference and electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University, which means I answer research questions, teach workshops, and work with electronic journals and e-books. My husband and I share our home in rural Illinois with too many cats and about 10,000 books.

From my website

When everything old is new again: Marlene Dietrich’s lasting impression, a guest post by C.W. Gortner

Within his growing oeuvre of historical novels, C.W. Gortner is known for depicting the intimate life stories of legendary women from the past.  Below he shares details about the life and enduring legacy of his latest heroine: Marlene Dietrich. ~When Everything Old is New Again: Marlene Dietrich’s Lasting Impression C. W. Gortner…

Interview with Donna Russo Morin, author of Portrait of a Conspiracy

In Florence, Italy, on 26 April 1478, members of the Pazzi family and their allies plotted to assassinate the powerful Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother, Giuliano, in full public view within the city's magnificent Duomo (cathedral).  In the case of Giuliano, they succeeded.  First in a new series, Donna…

Grace by Natashia Deón, an affecting novel of freedom and motherhood in the antebellum South

Given the chance, Naomi, a 17-year-old slave in rural Alabama in 1848, would have named her daughter Grace, but she is shot and killed moments after giving birth. In her gripping debut novel, Deón, awarded a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship, among other honors, dramatizes alliances formed by women…

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