Jeanne Reames

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Jeanne Reames

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in The United States



Toni Morrison, Louise Erdich, Sherman Alexie, Iris Murdoch, John Irvin ...more

Member Since
May 2012

Mother, writer, NDN, history professor, Homer fangirl and Alexander the Great geek.

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Jeanne Reames Hi, Saimi! First, let me apologize for the slight delay in my reply. I teach full time and I'm also heading overseas shortly, so I've been a tad press…moreHi, Saimi! First, let me apologize for the slight delay in my reply. I teach full time and I'm also heading overseas shortly, so I've been a tad pressed for time. :-o

Also, before I get started, let me note that I have a website about the novels with a lot of extras--including a couple extra and cut scenes--plus Vlogs, how to pronounce names, etc. It's all here:

In addition, I keep a blog (which I think Goodreads does link to?), but in case not, you can find it here, that might have a number of topics of interest in short entries (usually 1-3 pages, a few longer, and images *grin*):

Now... to your question: Why Alexander and how I discovered him? Waaaay back in the middle/late 80s (yes, I'm old) I was getting my masters in Theological Studies, and the professors kept mentioning this guy "Alexander the Great" as if all the students ought to know who he was. Well, I'd *hated* history in school (I blame bad teachers) so got through both high school and college with not a single world history class. Had no IDEA who "Alexander the Great" was. Deciding maybe I ought to learn, given how pivotal he seemed to be, I hiked over to the Emory Univ. library, and checked out two books at random. Fatefully, they were N.G.L. Hammond's Alexander the Great: King, Commander and Statesmen; and Peter Green's, Alexander of Macedon (which I read in that order).

I couldn't have picked two more divergent views if I'd tried! I became fascinated by this guy who loomed so large, but who excited such *differing* views. I started reading, and as I seem incapable of doing anything by halves, I eventually wound up pursuing a PhD in the subject. But prior to that, I had the idea for a novel about his youth. (I was unaware of Mary Renault's Fire from Heaven, at the time.)

So in December of 1988, I opened a file and started a novel about a run-away boy (Hephaistion) who landed in Pella and ran into the prince after getting the better of another page. (The scene between Hephaistion and Kassandros at the opening of chapter 2 is all-but-unchanged aside from correcting some details.) Almost from the beginning, Hephaistion was formed. He sat up in my head and started dictating, and I had to take notes. ;-) Alexander was slower to coalesce. I had to write my way into understanding him. But yes, the novel has always been their story, and Hephaistion has always been as important to it as Alexander. (That I later did my PhD dissertation on Hephaistion is probably not a great surprise.)

As for where you, as a new fan of Alexander (*grin*), might begin, if you read it, in the back of Book 2 (Rise) I have an author's note about my choices, but also, a list of sources, with some of the better known names in Macedonian and Alexander studies (et al.).

But let me offer my textbook list from the undergraduate class I teach on Alexander, here at UNO:

Before Alexander: Constructing Early Macedonia, Eugene N. Borza
Shorter, cheaper intro to Macedonia by the author of In the Shadow of Olympus.

Alexander the Great and His World, Carol Thomas
Similar to the above, but looks at the wider Greek world as well and more aimed at ATG.

Alexander the Great: Legacy of a Conqueror, W. Lindsay Adams
Short, to the point and reflects recent work on Macedonia itself.

Into the Land of Bones, Frank Holt
Adams’ text above doesn’t deal much with Afghanistan; I want to spend a bit more time here.

Secondary Texts: Recommended

Conquest and Empire, A. B. Bosworth (required for grads)
Longer biography with more detail, but 1988, so less on recent Macedonian advances

The Persians, Maria Brosius (required for grads)
A good, brief introduction to Alexander’s chief adversaries and the land he invaded

The Wars of Alexander the Great, Waldemar Heckel (required for grads)
Nice, brief little resource focusing on ATG as military leader with lots of good illustrations.

The Original (Primary) Sources: All of these are available in cheap Penguin or Oxford translations.

Arrian's Anabasis and Indica (Alexander the Great)
Curtius Rufus' A History of Alexander
Plutarch's Life of Alexander (The Age of Alexander)
Diodorus Siculus' World History, Loeb book 17 (Philip and ATG)
Justin on Alexander (Yardley's translation)(less)
Average rating: 4.26 · 200 ratings · 70 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
Becoming (Dancing with the ...

4.26 avg rating — 127 ratings — published 2019 — 4 editions
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Rise (Dancing with the Lion...

4.30 avg rating — 69 ratings — published 2019 — 4 editions
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Macedonian Legacies: Studie...

3.25 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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New Interview

I was recently interviewed by Dylan Campbell for the Ancient History Encyclopedia about both Dancing with the Lion novels.

You can find the interview here.

Read and enjoy!
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Published on July 09, 2020 21:53
Becoming Rise
(2 books)
4.28 avg rating — 196 ratings

Upcoming Events

Extra Scene #2: Two Scorpions
October 21, 2019 12:00AM
For readers who are anxiously awaiting the second half, between the publication ...more

Extra Scene #1: Moth & Flame
October 21, 2019 12:00AM
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Jeanne’s Recent Updates

Jeanne and 4 other people liked W.'s review of Rise (Dancing with the Lion #2):
Rise by Jeanne Reames
"Very good"
" Okay, thanks. I'll try to set that version as the default! "
Becoming by Jeanne Reames
"I just want to say i really love this book
I cried times throughout reading. The writing is witty.
Every moments are so precious. I want to read more.
I wish the author continue to write books after Alexander became a king too. ;___;

" Read more of this review »
Rise by Jeanne Reames
" Thank you very much. I do hope to continue writing on it, but this particular publisher isn't interested in the whole series, so I will need to find a ...more "
Rise by Jeanne Reames
"Please continue to write of Alexander journey. ;___;
I love this series much much better than Mary Renault’s.
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This is an absolutely lyrical book in so many ways, and a fascinating use of time in the layout, reflecting a more indigenous storytelling style reminiscent of Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony Or Gerard Vizenor's Bearheart. Thematic rather than linear, ...more
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