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Beneath a Marble Sky (McPherson, 2004)


John Shors has been lucky enough to spend much of his life abroad. After graduating in 1991 from Colorado College (where he studied creative writing and received an English degree) Shors pursued his dream of living in Asia. Fate brought him to Kyoto, Japan, and landed him a job as an English teacher ; a post he held for three years. Shors then backpacked across Asia, visiting ten countries over the course of the next few years. Highlights from his journey included climbing the Himalayas of Nepal and exploring the monuments of India. Always on a tight budget, Shors ate, played, and exchanged ideas with locals across the continent, becoming acquainted with customs and cultures that on the surface seemed so contrary to Western philosophies.
Upon returning to America, Shors became a newspaper reporter in his home state of Iowa. Within two years he won three statewide awards in journalism, including one for best investigative reporting. He and his wife then moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he began a career as a public relations executive, working for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to local nonprofits.
Shors currently lives in Boulder with his wife and two young children. Beneath a Marble Sky is his first novel. Beneath a Marble Sky received a ForeWord Magazine "Book of the Year" award and is being made into a major motion picture by Hollywood.
Shors, who is now a full-time writer, encourages reader feedback and is best reached at .

In french

Bibliography :

  • Beneath a Marble Sky (McPherson, 2004)
  • Moonset over Dryden (Northwest Pub, 1995)

A brief summary of Beneath a Marble Sky :

In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, consumed by grief over the death of his empress, Mumtaz Mahal, ordered the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize the greatness of their love. Against scenes of unimaginable wealth and power, murderous sibling rivalries, and cruel despotism, Princess Jahanara tells the extraordinary story of how the Taj Mahal came to be, describing her own life as an agent in its creation and as a witness to the fateful events surrounding its completion.
To escape a brutal arranged marriage, Jahanara must become the court liaison to Isa, architect of the Taj Mahal. She is soon caught between her duty to her mother’s memory, the rigid strictures imposed upon women, and a new, though forbidden, love. With exceptional courage, Jahanara dares to challenge the bigotry and blindness at court in an effort to spare the empire from civil war, and to save her father from his bellicose son, Aurangzeb, a man whose hatred would extinguish the Islamic enlightenment from the Mughal Empire. To do so she must enlist her Hindu friend, Ladli, and her guardian, Nizam, as spies, and urge her brother, Dara, the designated heir to the throne, down from the ivory tower of his philosophical inquiries. The stakes become ever greater when Jahanara must deceive her husband as to the true father of her child, and must protect those closest to her from her enemies’ retaliation.
As a princess and a mother, as a sister and a daughter, Jahanara will find herself faced time and again with impossible choices, and will discover the real meaning of her regal birthright. In Beneath a Marble Sky John Shors recreates an historical Hindustan brimming with breathtaking intrigue and containing the secret truth of the Taj Mahal for a world still in awe of its enduring majesty.