Women's Biography
Monday, April 9, 7:30 pm
Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports By Kathrine Switzer Cover Image

Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports (Paperback)


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A new edition of a sports icon's memoir, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer's historic running of the Boston Marathon as the first woman to run.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially run what was then the all-male Boston Marathon, infuriating one of the event's directors who attempted to violently eject her. In one of the most iconic sports moments, Switzer escaped and finished the race. She made history-and is poised to do it again on the fiftieth anniversary of that initial race, when she will run the 2017 Boston Marathon at age 70. Now a spokesperson for Reebok, Switzer is also the founder of 261 Fearless, a foundation dedicated to creating opportunities for women on all fronts, as this groundbreaking sports hero has done throughout her life.

"Kathrine Switzer is the Susan B. Anthony of women's marathoning."-Joan Benoit Samuelson, first Olympic gold medalist in the women's marathon
Kathrine Switzer, one of the greatest icons in sports, has been an authority on running and women's fitness for over forty years. She is best known for pioneering the official entrance of women into the marathon, beginning with her epoch-making run in the previously all-male Boston Marathon in 1967, and went on to become a world-ranked athlete and the winner of the 1974 New York Marathon.

Switzer is an Emmy-award winning television commentator, having covered a continuous string of the sport's major events, including the Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles marathons, as well as the Olympic and Goodwill Games. Her first book, Running and Walking for Women Over 40, has sold over 100,000 copies. She lives in New Paltz, NY.
Product Details ISBN: 9780306825651
ISBN-10: 0306825651
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 448
Language: English
"A thoughtfully written memoir...[Switzer is] still running strong; she's headed back to Boston this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her 1967 pioneering run, making this a perfect time to brush up on running history."
Mother Runner

"Women all over the world run, and it is due, in large part, to Kathrine's efforts."—Joann Flaminio, 1st woman President of the Boston Athletic Association, overseer of the Boston Marathon

"Kathrine Switzer gives us all a huge life lesson on how to turn negatives into positives. It's about always showing up, working hard, and never, ever quitting."—Meb Keflezighi, Olympic Marathon Silver Medal, 4-time Olympian, New York City and Boston Marathon Champion, author, Meb for Mortals and Run To Overcome

"Kathrine Switzer helped change women's running forever. She tells her story--full of surprises, unexpected twists, setbacks, and Olympic triumphs--with a mix of humor and sharply-recalled anecdote that never fails to engage."—Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon winner; author, First Ladies of Running; Editor at Large, Runner's World

"Perhaps the best that can be said of any of us is that we have made a difference. Kathrine has, and we see it at the Boston Marathon every year."
Tom Grilk, Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association, 2:49 marathoner, and perennial Boston Marathon finish line announcer

"Marathon Woman is told with humor and style and is as uplifting and inspirational as was her run back in 1967."
George A. Hirsch, marathoner and chairman of the New York Road Runners

"Kathrine Switzer clearly propelled women running in to the global phenomena it is today and the struggle she endured even before Chapter IX Is the stuff strong women are made of."—Gloria Ratti, Vice President, Boston Athletic Association

"Marathon Woman is infused with grace and humor, determination and inspiration. And unlike a real marathon--26.2 miles that can stretch on seemingly forever--we didn't want this book to ever end!"
Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea, runners and authors of Run Like a Mother, Train Like a Mother and founders of "Another Mother Runner"

Running may be the connective tissue, but the true essence of Kathrine's journey is a passage to a bigger world. Fifty years ago Kathrine opened the door and literally thousands of women ran through.
Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer, Runners World; author, My Life On The Run

"Kathrine Switzer is a living metaphor of strength and courage, inspiring millions of girls and women to turn You can't into I can. Since that pivotal moment fifty years ago, she has shown us the power we each have to use our personal experiences to create lives of meaning and purpose."—Elizabeth Kunz, CEO, & Kathryn Thompson, COO, Girls on the Run International

"As the father of a young daughter, I am forever grateful that Kathrine had the courage to step out on that racecourse back in 1967, blaze a path that has strengthened and endured for five decades and shows no sign of slowing down, just like Kathrine herself. Marathon Woman is timeless, as is she."—Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathoner and NY Times bestselling author

"At times laugh-out-loud funny, at others inspirational and educational, this is the incredible story of Kathrine Switzer's gutsy fight for women to be allowed to participate in long-distance running. By relating her own passion for running, Kathrine is bound to ignite yours!"—Lisa Jackson, Contributing Editor to Women's Running UK magazine, best-selling author of Your Pace or Mine? and Running Made Easy; and veteran of 105 marathons

"Kathrine Switzer is the spiritual leader, emotional center, activist spark plug and intellectual depth of the global women's running boom. Marathon Woman is simply a page-turning must read."
Margaret Webb, author, Older Faster Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger Longer and running blogger at

"As we celebrate so many advancements for women, now we celebrate 50 years since Kathrine Switzer busted through the glass starting line. In her captivating memoir, Marathon Woman, she reminds us of the gift we have, and the responsibility we have to share it, celebrate it, and be grateful for it."—Kristin Armstrong, Contributing Editor for Runner's World, author, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run


Women's Biography
Monday, March 12, 7:30 pm
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life By Ruth Franklin Cover Image

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days

Winner • National Book Critics Circle Award (Biography)

Winner • Edgar Award (Critical/Biographical)

Winner • Bram Stoker Award (Nonfiction)

A New York Times Notable Book

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Pick of the Year

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, TIME, Boston Globe, NYLON, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist

In this “thoughtful and persuasive” biography, award-winning biographer Ruth Franklin establishes Shirley Jackson as a “serious and accomplished literary artist” (Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review).


Instantly heralded for its “masterful” and “thrilling” portrayal (Boston Globe), Shirley Jackson reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the literary genius behind such classics as “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House. In this “remarkable act of reclamation” (Neil Gaiman), Ruth Franklin envisions Jackson as “belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James” (New York Times Book Review) and demonstrates how her unique contribution to the canon “so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era’ ” (Washington Post). Franklin investigates the “interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women’s history” (Chicago Tribune). “Wisely rescu[ing] Shirley Jackson from any semblance of obscurity” (Lena Dunham), Franklin’s invigorating portrait stands as the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary genius.

Ruth Franklin is a book critic and frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications. A recipient of a New York Public Library Cullman Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781631493416
ISBN-10: 1631493418
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 624
Language: English
With this welcome new biography Franklin makes a thoughtful and persuasive case for Jackson as a serious and accomplished literary artist. . . . [Franklin] sees Jackson not as an oddball, one-off writer of horror tales and ghost stories but as someone belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James, writers preoccupied, as she was, with inner evil in the human soul.
— Charles McGrath - New York Times Book Review

Ruth Franklin’s sympathetic and masterful biography both uncovers Jackson’s secret and haunting life and repositions her as a major artist whose fiction so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era.’
— Elaine Showalter - Washington Post

Franklin is a conscientious, lucid biographer, and her book is never less than engaging.
— Blake Bailey - Wall Street Journal

Franklin's research is wide and deep, drawing on Jackson's published and unpublished writings including correspondence and diaries, as well as interviews….Franklin has shown the interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women's history.
— Katherine A. Powers - Chicago Tribune

Masterful…Taut, insightful, and thrilling, in ways that haunt, not quite as ghost story, but as a tale of a woman who strains against the binds of marriage, of domesticity, and suffers for it in a way that is of her time as a 1950s homemaker, and in a way that speaks to what it means to be a writer, an artist, and a woman even now.
— Nina MacLaughlin - Boston Globe

A Shirley Jackson biography seems especially timely today, even though Jackson, as with many of her stories, remains somewhat mythically timeless….Franklin’s is both broader in scope and more measured in its analysis….[A] masterful account.
— Jane Hu - New Republic

Comprehensive…Jackson’s lifelong interest in rituals, witchcraft, charms and hexes were, Franklin convincingly maintains, metaphors for exploring power and disempowerment…Franklin situates Jackson’s conflicted relationship with coercive postwar US domesticity within the context that would give rise in 1963 to Betty Friedan’s attack on ‘the feminine mystique’…[A] sympathetic and fair-minded biography.
— Sarah Churchwell - The Guardian

[Shirley Jackson] strongly affirms the American author’s powerful collection of stories, novels and memoirs…Magisterial and compulsively readable.

— Lauren LeBlanc - Minneapolis Star Tribune

[Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life] represents the latest and most concerted attempt to reclaim the writer’s reputation. It’s also a fresh effort to frame her as an artist with extraordinary insight into the lives, the concerns, and—above all—the fears of women…Gender is not the only prejudice that has kept us from acknowledging the brilliance of Shirley Jackson, but Franklin’s biography is a giant step toward the truth.

— Laura Miller - Slate

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life deftly narrates the influences, experiences and reputation of the author of the famously enduring story ‘The Lottery.’ As a history of the literary culture of the 1940s and ’50s, it teases out the daily lives of people who displayed James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses,’ Wilhelm Reich’s ‘The Function of the Orgasm’ and James George Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ on their coffee tables. And as a chronicle of American life in the Eisenhower era, it reminds us of a time when people with too many books could be considered subversive…Much of Jackson’s writing is a weird, rich brew, and Franklin captures its savor.

— Seth Lerer - San Francisco Chronicle

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life . . . lifts its subject out of the genre ghetto and makes a convincing case that Jackson was a courageous woman in a male-dominated field whose themes resonate strongly today.

— Jeff Baker - Seattle Times

To truly reclaim a legacy, it generally helps to have a big, penetrating biography, one that takes into consideration everything that’s come before and pushes forward a new and improved interpretation. Ruth Franklin’s excellent Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is all that and more…Franklin proves to be a supple biographer.

— Kate Bolick - Bookforum

This meticulous biography tackles the work of Shirley Jackson with the kind of studied seriousness some might give to a male titan of history like Robert Moses. And thank goddess for that, as Ruth Franklin wisely rescues Shirley Jackson from any semblance of obscurity. Despite her well-documented magnetism (and dalliances in the dark arts) Jackson's work was often dismissed as mere genre nonsense or, worse yet, women's fiction and Franklin's sensitive, witty and rigorous work makes an airtight case for just why this isn't right. The ire Jackson's short stories inspired in New Yorker readers is only a hint of the drama and intensity that characterized her short but beguiling life, with Franklin captures with a hefty dose of wit and suspense. One of the best literary biographies I've ever encountered.

— Lena Dunham

Ruth Franklin is the biographer Jackson needed: she tells the story of the author in a way that made me want to reread every word Jackson ever wrote.
— Neil Gaiman

Ruth Franklin has written the ideal biography of a figure long and unjustly neglected in the history of twentieth-century American literature. By restoring Shirley Jackson to her proper stature as one of our great writers, Franklin has in a stroke revised the canon.
— James Atlas, author of Bellow: A Biography

Franklin’s biography takes us beyond the chilling stories that made Shirley Jackson’s name into the dilemmas of a woman writer in the 1950s and ’60s, struggling to make a career between the pressures of childcare, domesticity, and her own demons. It’s a very modern story, and a terrific read.
— Mary Beard, author of SPQR

With her account of an emblematically American literary life, Ruth Franklin reminds us that her subject was far more than the writer of classy ghost stories. On the contrary, Shirley Jackson was the harbinger of profound upheavals both societal and literary. This is a brilliant biography on every level, but it is especially astute on Jackson's ground- and genre-breaking work, which I will now reread immediately.
— Tom Bissell, author of Apostle

A perfect marriage of biographer and subject: Ruth Franklin’s portrait of Shirley Jackson restores to her rightful place a writer of considerable significance, and draws a rich intellectual portrait of the age.
— Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs

A biography that is both historically engaging and pressingly relevant, Ruth Franklin’s absorbing book not only feelingly creates a portrait of Shirley Jackson the writer but also provides a stirring sense of what it was like to navigate (and sometimes circumvent) the strictures of American society as a wife, mother, artist, and woman.
— Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings


Women's Biography
Monday, February 12, 7:30 pm
Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady By Susan Quinn Cover Image

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady (Paperback)


Special Order—Subject to Availability
A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok—a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women's lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history

In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. By that time, she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life—now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. Over the next thirty years, until Eleanor’s death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: They were, at different points, lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends. 
They couldn't have been more different. Eleanor had been raised in one of the nation’s most powerful political families and was introduced to society as a debutante before marrying her distant cousin, Franklin. Hick, as she was known, had grown up poor in rural South Dakota and worked as a servant girl after she escaped an abusive home, eventually becoming one of the most respected reporters at the AP. Her admiration drew the buttoned-up Eleanor out of her shell, and the two quickly fell in love. For the next thirteen years, Hick had her own room at the White House, next door to the First Lady. 
These fiercely compassionate women inspired each other to right the wrongs of the turbulent era in which they lived. During the Depression, Hick reported from the nation’s poorest areas for the WPA, and Eleanor used these reports to lobby her husband for New Deal programs. Hick encouraged Eleanor to turn their frequent letters into her popular and long-lasting syndicated column "My Day," and to befriend the female journalists who became her champions. When Eleanor’s tenure as First Lady ended with FDR's death, Hick pushed her to continue to use her popularity for good—advice Eleanor took by leading the UN’s postwar Human Rights Commission. At every turn, the bond these women shared was grounded in their determination to better their troubled world.
Deeply researched and told with great warmth, Eleanor and Hick is a vivid portrait of love and a revealing look at how an unlikely romance influenced some of the most consequential years in American history.
Susan Quinn is the author of Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times and Marie Curie: A Life, among other books. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, and other publications. She is the former president of PEN New England and lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
Product Details ISBN: 9780143110712
ISBN-10: 0143110713
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 432
Language: English
“The love affair between first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena “Hick” Hickok has never been treated with as much care or attention as in Susan Quinn’s Eleanor and Hick. Here, Quinn deftly traces the dissimilar but converging paths of these two complex women and gives new life to their intimate, dynamic relationship, against a backdrop of tremendous social upheaval.”—, Best Books of 2016

“Splendid. . . . Written with style and verve, and vigorously researched . . . filled with delightful details and provocative musings.”—Blanche Wiesen Cook, Women’s Review of Books

“Fascinating.”—Susan Dunn, The New York Review of Books

“Making sense of this famous relationship has been complicated for historians, and Quinn concedes the impossibility of knowing what, exactly, happened between the two women physically. But, drawing extensively on their letters, she makes a strong case that the bond they shared was indeed romantic. . . .The abiding impression of this book is the intricacy of Roosevelt’s intimate life.”—The New Yorker

“A poignant account of a love affair doomed by circumstance and conflicting needs. Combining exhaustive research with emotional nuance, Quinn dives deep to convey the differing characters of president and first lady.”—Richard Norton Smith, The Wall Street Journal

“Captivating…In prose that reads as fluidly and mesmerizingly as fiction, Quinn tells the story of the First Lady's marital discontent and determination to live an independent life despite her prominent position in the public eye, and of the 30-year-long partnership and love that unfolded between Roosevelt and Hickok…Beyond just a compelling love story, Eleanor and Hick brings to light a different side of the early-20th century White House, revealing the significant impact of this unconventional relationship on American political and cultural history.” —Harper’s Bazaar, Best Books of 2016

“An engrossing double biography. . . . Quinn brings new depth to their epic, three-decade-long love story.”— New York Post

“Quinn writes about both women with great sensitivity, from the childhood wounds they both bore to their influence on one another as writers and social activists. Meticulously researched, engagingly written, and emotionally resonant, this is a welcome addition to the Roosevelt book shelf.”— The Boston Globe

“A brisk, readable account of the intersection between these two women.”— New York Times Book Review 

“Quinn sorts through the over three thousand letters the two sent to each other — honest, passionate and principled correspondence — to create a fascinating picture of the power and joy of the women’s “subversive act” and its beneficial impact on the country at large.”— Brit & Co.

“Quinn has produced an intimate book, tender and wise.”—Stacy Schiff, The Washington Post

“A delightful account.”—1843 (The Economist)

“Apart from chronicling a beautiful and complex friendship, Quinn also makes a strong case here that Eleanor Roosevelt was the most politically significant first lady America has ever had.”— Bookpage

“Eleanor and Hick marvelously weaves the lives of these two women together, showing their fierce independence and yet continual dependence on each other. The book also reflects a refreshing change in cultural opinion, most likely one that will usher in books on other historical homosexual relationships just as well-researched and kind.”— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Quinn tells Eleanor’s always astonishing story from a freshly illuminating perspective and brings forward to resounding effect intrepid, eloquent, compassionate, and tough Hick. With episodes hilarious, stunning and heartbreaking, Quinn’s compellingly intimate chronicle tells the long-camouflaged story of a morally and intellectually spirited, taboo-transcending, and world-bettering love.”—Booklist 

“A well-researched dual biography. . . . Fast paced and engaging, this work will enthrall readers of presidential biographies and LGBTQ studies.” —Library Journal

“Quinn deftly explores how the unlikely relationship evolved, relying on correspondence between the women, oral histories in archives, various government documents, and numerous other sources that allow readers to learn a great deal about normally private affairs…. A relentlessly captivating study of two remarkable individuals who helped extend the roles of American women in the public policy realm.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred) 

“Susan Quinn’s tender book of love and loyalty—set during the most tumultuous time of the twentieth century—reads like a whispered confidence. The forbidden relationship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and hardscrabble journalist Lorena Hickok is one of the great love affairs in history, and yet it has remained largely untold. Thanks to Quinn, their beautiful and courageous story is a secret no longer.”—Mary Gabriel, author of Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

“In telling with vivid detail the story of a remarkable relationship between two strong women, Susan Quinn has provided a new way to look at some of the most momentous events of the twentieth century. Eleanor and Hick is delightful, moving, penetrating history.”—David Maraniss, author of Barack Obama: The Story

“Eleanor Roosevelt’s love affair with ace AP reporter Lorena Hickok, carried on just outside public view during the most public years of their lives, fascinates and inspires in Susan Quinn’s irresistible telling. Eleanor and Hick is a powerfully moving and vital story that could not have been told in its day, and alters radically what we thought we knew about America’s most influential and best-loved First Lady.”Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

“This is an important and probably unique biography in the history of the U.S. presidency. The special virtue of Eleanor and Hick is that Susan Quinn permits us to see how Eleanor Roosevelt’s long, intimate relationship with Lorena Hickok helped her become not just a First Lady but a great one: courageous, committed, compassionate—and complicated. A triumph.” —Nigel Hamilton, author of The Mantle of Command