Nina, The Bandit Queen Secondary Title

In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.

But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.

Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.

Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.

The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.

Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.

The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.

Nina, The Bandit Queen

Joey Slinger’s wild and dark imagination, his subversive humor, and his surprising arcs of fancy have attracted passionate fans to his humor column which appeared several times a week in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper.

 He has published two collections of his columns: No Axe Too Small to Grind, which won the Leacock Medal for Humour and If It’s A Jungle Out There, Why Do I Have to Mow the Lawn? He is also the author of Down & Dirty Birding (Simon & Schuster), a beginner’s guide to birdwatching. His novel Punchline was published by Key Porter Books. Slinger lives in Toronto, Ontario.

A portrait of Joey Slinger

“Slinger is the funniest writer in Canada.”
Michael Enright

“Funny, engaging and and original. I enjoyed it thoroughly.”
– Joy Fielding

“It’s a fun ride that does what farce is meant to do: enjoyably fill the time.”
– Toronto Star

Nina, The Bandit Queen is Joey Slinger’s best book yet. As a previous winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, Slinger has another winner here…Nina Carson Dolgoy, the lead character, is the kind of person who would steal your heart and steal your wallet. And maybe not in that order. The book is filled with wonderful lines that make you laugh out loud…Read this book and weep. With tears of laughter.”

– Rod McQueen, Blackberry Blog

Dundurn World Rights 2012

Nina, The Bandit Queen

Nina Dolgoy grew up in a part of town so beaten down that even prostitutes and drug dealers have written it off. Still, she imagines that if the neighbourhood pool wasn’t boarded up, a rigorous swimming program might keep her four daughters from falling into degradation.

The bitterly self-proclaimed “welfare queen” leads her community on a fund-raising, pool-fixing, self-improvement campaign. Unfortunately, the only way she can think to raise money herself is by robbing a bank. Unfortunately she isn’t very good at it.

Coincidentally, her brother Frank gets out of jail and robs one. But it’s a put-up job, and unfortunately he double-crosses the bad guys who hired him and takes off with the loot.

After accidentally knocking him off, the bad guys conclude that he stashed the cash in Nina’s house and start dismantling it around her ears. As mother-lion courageous as this makes her, it’s no use when even trusted friends turn out to want the money for themselves and believe she’s got it and is holding out on them.

Nina and the girls have to flee for their lives. But what happens when their escape in a yellow school bus turns into a sublimely bizarre slow-motion chase? With the world watching live, she somehow has to find a way to to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes.

This caper-in-reverse about an unfortunate, and unfortunately misunderstood, woman would be really sad if it weren’t presented with a frankness so staggering it knocks the legs out from under you. It’s hard for your heart to break when you’re laughing out loud.

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