March 15, 2018

Elaine Weiss found the locus of action for her book deep in the library archives.

I love this image because it is the stuff writing fantasies are made of: a writer, buried in the depths of newspapers that had been cataloged on microfilm. It was there that she discovered that a member of each of the critical political parties in her book arrived the very same night in Nashville, TN to fight the final battle around the 19th amendment in the US.

Elaine and I talked about the politics of the 19th amendment and how she has managed to write a book that had me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew while reading it that the amendment would ultimately pass – I know I have voted in every election I’ve been able to since I was 18. But even so, the gift of a good writer is someone who is able to capture the suspense that those experiencing this historical period in real time in the present must have felt.

History doesn’t have to be dry or dull. In fact, I was as glued to The Woman’s Hour as I have been to any suspense novel I’ve read. I hope you enjoy listening to us discuss how it came together just as much as I enjoyed diving into its creative backstory. Happy listening!

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