Aviation journalist and author Colleen Mondor wrote a review of UNMENTIONABLES on her blog, “Chasing Ray.” Mondor enjoyed the novel and called it a “surprise,” explaining that:
I found a certain amount of “earthiness” to this novel–a perspective on life that reads very much about people most readers know and will recognize. I think I especially liked the history here though, how Lowenstein so effectively weaves bits about milk inspection and disease and racism and education into the overall story. This is how we live, after all, with so much big and small going on around us.
A picture of the Chautauqua Assembly in Clarinda, Indiana circa 1908, courtesy of the Library of Congress, was posted with her review.
Flagship author Laurie Loewenstein discussed her novel “Unmentionables” on Pennsylvania’s WVIA Public Media earlier this month. A guest of Erika Funke’s ArtScene on June 10, Loewenstein read an excerpt from her novel and described the extensive historical research required to recreate the climate of the Chautauqua circuit in the early 20th century. On June 13 she participated in a reading at Barnes & Noble in downtown Wilkes-Barre, hosted by the Wilkes University MA/MFA in Creative Writing Program.
How did Laurie Loewenstein’s debut novel come to be? What gave her the most trouble? What will the author work on next? Find out in this interview with the author, found on Akashic Books’ website and featured on Akashic Insider.
Laurie Loewenstein’s debut novel Unmentionables, the inaugural novel in Akashic’s Kaylie Jones Books imprint, has received a starred review in the January 15th, 2014 issue of Library Journal! Read the full review below:
★ Loewenstein’s remarkable debut was selected as a Midwest Connections Pick for January and is the first book in a imprint from Akashic curated by award-winning author Kaylie Jones (Speak Now). In August 1917, Marian Elliot Adams, a fiercely independent advocate for women’s rights, is traveling with the “Chautauqua circuit,” promoting their message of “sensible undergarments for women.” When she takes to the stage on hot night in Caledonia, IL, her speech shocks the local residents, who are further disgusted when she falls from the stage and sprains her ankle, forcing her to stay in town for a week. One week turns into many, and Marian’s presence reveals Caledonia’s long-held but unspoken rules regarding women, African Americans, and social order. After befriending the town’s newspaper publisher, Deuce Garland, and his stepdaughter Helen, Marian begins to question her own motives and must contemplate continues her chosen life of a visitor always passing through, or being known in a small town.
VERDICT This immensely entertaining and illuminating book transports the reader back in time while confronting the timeless matters of courage, sacrifice, race, gender, love and death. Exceptionally readable and highly recommended.
Some excellent news: Laurie Loewenstein’s UNMENTIONABLES has been selected by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association as a Midwest Connections pick for January! Follow the title/link above to learn more.
We’re proud to share that the ALA (American Library Association) has selected Laurie Loewenstein to read at their Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia as part of a special spotlight on debut novelists. The debut author panel will take place on Sat., Jan. 28, from 3-4:30 pm.