Please join the Free Library of Northampton Township and the Newtown Bookshop as we welcome nationally bestselling author, Fiona Davis on August 5th at 6:30pm at the Free Library of Northampton Township. Fiona Davis will be celebrating the release of her new historical fiction, THE CHELSEA GIRLS with a Book Talk and Signing. All are invited to attend this FREE event!
ABOUT THE BOOK
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. To research the novel, Davis interviewed many survivors of the McCarthy era blacklist, who shared their experiences and recalled a turbulent time in their lives. She read numerous books, including Scoundrel Time by Lillian Hellman, whose experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee inspired a scene featuring Hazel in the book. In her author’s note, Davis credits Broadway for proudly welcoming blacklisted artists who could no longer find work in film, radio, and television, and says: “Still, the impact of the blacklist—the many movies and television programs never made, the careers and lives ruined—is immeasurable, and remains a heartbreaking loss.” Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, THE CHELSEA GIRLS pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.
ABOUT THE AUTHORFiona Davis is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction novels set in iconic New York City buildings. She first came to New York as an actress, but fell in love with writing after getting master's degree at Columbia Journalism School. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and her latest, The Masterpiece, was a LibraryReads and TheSkimm Reads pick. She's based in New York City.