On The Desk

After several years of extensive reading and research, I am in the last leg of writing a historical novel titled The Ingenue. The project centers on the development of a young woman, Elizabeth Hines, who, initially under the tutelage of George M. Cohan (“George M”), became an internationally known, well-respected musical comedy star and actress.
Immersion in the history, politics, literature and arts of the years spanning Elizabeth’s career from 1915-1928 revealed uncanny parallels to our current history. These include the struggle for women’s rights, the issues of racism and immigration, the devastation wrought by war and a worldwide pandemic.
Why did I choose Elizabeth Hines as a subject? Not only are her trajectory and her efforts to establish and maintain a stellar reputation as a serious career woman in what was socially regarded as a disreputable business, compelling but‒spoiler alert‒she was my grandmother. She died when I was a teenager so I never got to know her well. For reasons I can only guess at, she did not speak about her fabulous career, the vestiges of which came to my attention through my inheriting weathered scrapbooks full of yellowed newspaper articles, interviews interspersed with hand‒written fan letters from both men and women, some well-known at the time. This book is my imaginal reclamation of her story.

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