Thursday, August 8, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fiona Davis, author of The Chelsea Girls, will be our featured speaker for the Adult Summer Reading program.
Hazel Ripley has spent her life on the sidelines. First, to her super-star actor brother Ben and later as a serial understudy on Broadway. That is until she meets, and eventually befriends, powerhouse actress Maxine Mead while on tour for the USO during WWII. It is through Maxine that she learns about the Chelsea Hotel and its support of and inspiration to creative types. When she returns to New York City after the war in a rut and in need of change, she heads to the Chelsea. There she blossoms into a budding playwright full of promise.
Just as she’s getting settled and growing confidence, Maxine reemerges and asserts herself as lead actress in Hazel’s debut play that’s just been greenlighted for Broadway. But a Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. Hazel, as a female playwright, has a target on her back instantly. As the pressure builds to name names, it is not just Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.
Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Barrett Bookstore. Refreshments will be served.
About Summer Reading
Summer Reading is the ultimate escape. Join us as we "Reach for the Stars” with a celestial map game board, fun prizes for book lovers, and special events throughout the summer. Patrons can pick up their game maps at the Library’s Welcome Desk. Registration is not required and patrons can play as many times as they want. This year’s grand prize is a one-year family membership to the American Museum of Natural History.
About the Author
Fiona Davis began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. Fiona's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She's a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City.