Jean Auel

The creator of prehistoric adventures on three far-flung tales.



When Jean Auel conceived of the epic story that would become the "Earth's Children" series, she thought it would be contained within a single book, chronicling the adventures, in a painstakingly reconstructed prehistoric world, of a Cro-Magnon woman who had been raised in a society of Neanderthals. Four years later, in 1980, she published The Clan of the Cave Bear, but by then it was clear that multiple novels would be needed to unfold the story of her heroine, Ayla. That story culminates with the newly released sixth volume, The Land of Painted Caves. Jean Auel shared three of her favorite books with us.


Books by Jean Auel




"East of the Sun, West of the Moon" in The Blue Fairy Book

Edited by Andrew Lang


"I read this fairy tale when I was young and although I didn't consider all the implications then, I realize now that it was the girl in the tale who was the one who did the heroic deeds. She was the one who made it interesting for me."





The Left Hand of Darkness

By Ursula K. Le Guin


"The characters in this interesting story fascinated me because they changed their gender and reversed roles."









By James A. Michener


"In this novel I especially liked all of  the background detail that the author provided in building the story."


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.