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.
Kim Moritsugu is the author of six previous novels: the romantic comedy Looks Perfect (shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award), the domestic comedy Old Flames, the literary mystery The Glenwood Treasure (shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel Award), the domestic novel The Restoration of Emily (serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers), the Rapid Reads short novel And Everything Nice, and The Oakdale Dinner Club.
Praise for The Showrunner:
“The Showrunner has all the drama of All About Eve and the attention to detail of The Devil Wears Prada. Moritsugu nails the California sun-drenched anorexic ethos. She rivals Nathanael West’s fabulous descriptions of Hollywood where the hopefuls become twisted by their own ambitions.”
Catherine Gildiner, bestselling author of Too Close to the Falls and Coming Ashore
Kim Moritsugu’s novel The Showrunner is set inside the high stakes world of TV series production in Hollywood.
Stacey McCreedy is the new young firecracker in the Hollywood firmament. She began her career a few years earlier as an acolyte to Ann Dalloni the industry legend. Clever and ambitious, Stacey originated and developed the concept for The Benjamins, brought it to Ann who was her boss at the time, and extracted a partnership agreement to co-produce it and to run it jointly. The show is a mega hit, and Stacey is now chafing to fly on her own, free from Ann’s tyranny.
At 63, Ann struggles to hide her increasing vulnerability –she is losing her eye sight, her marriage is crumbling, she is gaining weight, drinking too much, and acting inappropriately. Her distrust and criticism of Stacey is increasing. So far, so stable.
Then Ann hires a delightful young assistant, Jenna Kuyt, an out of work actress, who is trying to restart her washed up career at age 20-something. The sweet little thing is a master of manipulation, picking her way through minefields as the animosity between Stacey and Ann becomes murderous.
Kim Moritsugu walks the delicate lines of farce and satire with agility, but readers, in a shock of recognition, will find it realistic.