Little Brown and Company, February 2008.
Yannick Murphy, author of Signed, Mata Hari, is one of those critically acclaimed authors that most readers know nothing of. Winner of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and recipient of the MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Murphy is a literate and innovative writer who does not shy away from stories that appear difficult. In this recent release, Murphy takes on the story of the great, illusive Mata Hari, a woman of mystery and legend.
Telling the story with alternating pasts and presents, Murphy takes us into the life of Margaretha, a young woman who marries a man she does not truly love as a way to leave her family home. Margaretha is filled with dreams, hopes and a sensuality that pours from her soul; it is the sensuality that ultimately turns her life upside down. While there has always been speculation that Mata Hari was a spy, Murphy does not directly answer this question but rather shows this secretive soul stuck inside a prison where her pleas for freedom go unheard.
In breathtaking prose, Murphy illuminates a story that must be told for this story is that of every woman who has ever searched for love and been turned away, for every woman who tries to express her own desires but is tossed aside. With this work, Murphy may soon be the author everyone is talking about.