Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Jean Auel Book Announced!

Calling all Jean Auel fans -- you have less than a year to wait for the sixth and final book in her Earth's Children series! This week at Book Expo America Crown Publishers announced that The Land of Painted Caves will be published on March 29, 2011, thirty-one years after the first book in this epic prehistoric series. According to the publisher, the novel will see Ayla struggling "to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni – one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers." In a rare move in the publishing world, the book will be published simultaneously in all the countries in which it will initially appear, including the US, the UK, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Norway, Serbia, Spain, and Sweden.

Auel’s groundbreaking Earth’s Children series has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide, and more than 22 million copies in the US alone. The series began in 1980 with the classic The Clan of Cave Bear, followed by The Valley of Horses. In 1985, the third book in the series, The Mammoth Hunters, was the first hardcover novel to achieve a one million-copy printing. The fourth book in the series is The Plains of Passage, and the fifth and most recent installment is The Shelters of Stones, published in 2002.

Auel was born in Chicago and moved to Portland with her husband Ray when she was pregnant with their second child -- they eventually raised five children. The storyline for the series was born in the Multnomah County Library system, when Jean went there to do research for a short story and came home with stacks and stacks of books. The series is acclaimed for the prodigious research behind it -- both in libraries and in person -- as well as for its inspired storytelling and meticulous attention to detail.

The books are set in prehistoric Europe, in the Dordogne region of France. In 2008 Auel was named an Office of the Order of Arts & Letters by the French Minister of Culture & Communication. She has also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Portland, from which she received her MBA in 1976.

Here is a link to a brief article by Jeff Baker of The Oregonian announcing the new title and offering more information about the author and the new book.

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