Fort Greene store:
Monday, May 20, 7:30 PM
Authors in Conversation: Hidden Histories
Varley O’Connor, author of The Welsh Fasting Girl
Dawn Raffel, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies
Moderated by Lauren LeBlanc
How does a writer build a reliable, convincing, and readable historical narrative when the record itself is lacking? Two highly-praised writers address the question in fiction and nonfiction in their new books that bring to life little-known historical figures. Varley O'Connor's novel The Welsh Fasting Girl is based on what may be the first documented case of anorexia, told as the story of nineteenth-century American woman journalist who becomes deeply invested in the tragic case of a young Welsh girl deemed a miracle. Dawn Raffel's book The Strange Case of Dr. Couney tells the real-life story of a side-show "doctor" who saved the lives of thousands of premature babies – by placing them on display in incubators in exhibits at World’s Fairs and sideshows. O’Connor and Raffel discuss their work and the fascinating stories they uncovered at this joint reading and discussion event, moderated by Lauren LeBlanc, an independent editor and book critic based in Brooklyn.