Shors, John 1969-
SHORS, John 1969-
PERSONAL: Born 1969, in Des Moines, IA; son of John (a lawyer) and Patsy Shors; married; wife's name Allison; two children. Education: Colorado College, B.A., 1991.
ADDRESSES: Home—Boulder, CO. Agent—c/o Author Mail, McPherson & Co., P.O. Box 1126, Kingston, NY 12402. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Taught English in Kyoto, Japan, 1991-94. Des Moines Business Record, Des Moines, IA, reporter. Public relations executive in Boulder, CO.
Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal, McPherson & Co. (Kingston, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: John Shors has lived and traveled throughout Asia, including a stint teaching English in Japan and a climb up the Himalayas. In his first book, Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal, Shors takes his readers to seventeenth-century India, bringing to life the Mughal Empire of Shah Jahan and his beloved Empress Mumtaz Mahal. At the center of the story is their daughter, Princess Jahanara, a bright and curious observer who is blessed with a good education by her indulgent father but then cursed with a disastrous arranged marriage to a brutish, much older husband. She gets a respite when her pregnant mother calls her home to attend her, and when Mumtaz lies dying in childbirth, Jahanara swears to become her father's protector in a hostile and poisonous court. Soon she begins spying on her own brother Aurangzeb, a religious zealot who rejects his father's attempts to reconcile with the Hindu majority. At the same time, she is drawn into Jahan's plan to build a magnificent tomb for his consort, and then she finds herself falling in love with Ustad Isa, the brilliant architect chosen to create the magnificent Taj Mahal. For Denver Post contributor Robin Vidimos, "The value of the novel lies in its readable, though sometimes breathless, prose and the feeling of the time it conveys. It is difficult to effectively bring the 21st-century reader into a 17th-century world. Shors accomplishes this nicely."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Denver Post, August 15, 2004, Robin Vidimos, "A Love Story, History Lesson a Great Combo: Taj Mahal Creation at Core," p. F11.
Des Moines Business Record, June 21, 2004, Beth Dalbey, "Des Moines Native's Book Getting Strong Reviews," p. 17.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2004, review of Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal, p. 249.
Library Journal, June 15, 2004, Kim Uden Rutter, review of Beneath a Marble Sky, p. 66.
Publishers Weekly, April 19, 2004, review of Beneath a Marble Sky, p. 41.
Bookbrowse.com, http://www.bookbrowse.com/ (October 28, 2004), "John Shors."
Bookloons.com, http://www.bookloons.com/ (October 28, 2004), Barbara Lingens, review of Beneath a Marble Sky.
McPherson & Co. Web site, http://www.mcphersonco.com/ (October 28, 2004), "John Shors."