The bestselling author of The Small Backs of Children offer a vision of our near-extinction and a heroine--a reimagined Joan of Arc--poised to save a world ravaged by war, violence, and greed, and forever change history, in this provocative new novel.
In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet's now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.
Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule--galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one--not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself--can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.
A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places--even at the extreme end of post-human experience--Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival.