Stellina is proud to host an Author’s Night on Wednesday November 2 at 6:30 featuring author, reporter & historian Susan Quinn and her latest book “Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady.”
This book is 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
“A relentlessly captivating study of two remarkable individuals who helped extend the roles of American women in the public policy realm.”—Kirkus Reviews
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.
Author’s Night is a FREE event. A cash bar is available for our patrons and copies of Susan Quinn’s book will be available for purchase courtesy of Haley Booksellers.
Join us after the talk for Dinner With The Author. Continue the conversation over cocktails, appetizers and entrees. All food and beverage are a la carte, and there are no additional charges. Reservations, however, are recommended for the dinner.
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.
“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
Susan Quinn is an award-winning writer of non-fiction books and articles. Born in 1940, she grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, and graduated from Oberlin College. She began her writing career as a newspaper reporter on a suburban daily outside of Cleveland, following two years as an apprentice actor at the Cleveland Play House, a professional repertory company. In 1967, she published her first book under the name Susan Jacobs: a nonfiction account of the making of a Broadway play called On Stage (Alfred A. Knopf). In 1972, after moving to Boston, she became a regular contributor to an alternative Cambridge weekly, The Real Paper, then a contributor and staff writer on Boston Magazine. In 1979, she won the Penney-Missouri magazine award for an investigative article for Boston Magazine on dangerous cargo transported through the city, and the Golden Hammer Award from the National Association of Home Builders for an investigative article on home inspections. She has written articles for many publications, including the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and Ms Magazine.
Since 1987 Quinn has published three books on scientific and medical subjects and one dealing with artistic and social issues. Her biography of Marie Curie was translated into eight languages and was awarded the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in 1997. She has served as the chair of PEN New England, a branch of the writers’ organization International PEN. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
“My current book, Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped A First Lady, presented a new kind of writing challenge. For the first time, I had to tell the story of two intertwining lives. Because my daughter is gay, I felt a special connection to this story of love between women. Also, I felt immediate sympathy for Lorena Hickok, the AP journalist universally known as “Hick.” She was a reporter, as I had been. She came from the Midwest, as I did. I was moved by the story of Hick’s triumph over an unspeakably cruel childhood, and impressed by her remarkable success in what was then an oppressively male world of journalism.”