Minnesota has an inconsistent relationship with its female celebrities. Zelda Fitzgerald is embraced as our own, as is, more recently, Diablo Cody, even though they hail from Montgomery, Alabama, and Chicago respectively. On the other hand, there is a building in Tucson named for prolific fiction writer and memoirist Grace Flandrau, but no such recognition in her native St. Paul. Biographer Georgia Ray has undertaken the task of exploring the literary scene of the first half of the 20th century to reveal the personal and literary lives of Flandrau, arguably one of the most influential writers of her time who has since been lost behind history's curtain. In Grace Flandrau, an intensely researched biography, Ray shines a spotlight on a St. Paul society that alternately adores and shuns Flandrau. The result is an intriguing story that includes all the elements of a great biography: precise prose, complex characters, and extensive footnotes for readers to geek out on. Ray has given Flandrau her rightful place in St. Paul's literary history.
Wed., Dec. 12, 4:30 p.m., 2007
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