A Scidmore Sisterhood, Across Cultures

A documentary of Eliza Scidmore is now in the works! Thanks go to Japanese TV reporter Miki Ebara, who produced a 12-minute feature on Scidmore and my first-ever biography of her for Japan’s NHK World (an English-language channel). The segment aired on March 27, 2024, during cherry blossom season in Washington and Japan. You can…

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Biographers, From Superstar to Novice, Gather in New York

Molly Peacock and Diana Parsell

How do you go about writing and publishing a biography when you’ve never done anything like that before? I owe Biographers International Organization (BIO) a lot in getting me to the finish line of my newly published book. For years, biography was a neglected stepchild of the literary world. A mashup of history, literature, area…

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Major Book Event: Meetup With Taft Descendent

flyer for Cherry Blossom Festival luncheon

In events surrounding the launch of my bool on Eliza Scidmore, it was thrilling — and great fun — to share the stage with presidential great-granddaughter Patricia Taft. We were the featured speakers at a sold-out “Still Blooming Luncheon” on March 23 at the University Club in Washington. The event, sponsored by the National Cherry…

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Q&A: On Ups and Downs of Writing a Book

I’ve been an independent writer and editor a long time. But no one I know does a better job of running a professional writing business than Paula Tarnapol Whitacre. She kindly devoted space this month in her newsletter to interviewing me about my new book. Here’s the link to read it. Paula seems to quickly…

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Scidmore Biography Set for March 1 Release

Scidmore book cover

  The book, published by Oxford University Press, is set for launch in U.S. bookstores on March 1, 2023. If you order from Oxford’s website (at www.oup.com), you can use the promotion code AAFLYG6 to get a 30% discount. Here are some other sources: Bookshop.org benefits independent bookstores with the convenience of online shopping. Politics…

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Recalling My Fabulous Glacier Bay Research Trip

Caitlin Campbell Glacier Bay

(Reposted from August 2018) An email out of the blue from U.S. park ranger Caitlin Campbell sparked my first trip to Alaska this summer, capped by a special experience at Glacier Bay. Caiti first contacted me a year ago after stumbling across the original website and blog I started to chronicle my progress on a…

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Scidmore’s Alaska Travel Airs on BBC

Thanks to a recent posting, my brief appearance on BBC2’s “Great American Railroad Journeys” is now online. My interview with the program’s host, Michael Portillo, took place in Juneau in the summer of 2018 during my research trip to Alaska. [Watch the program via this Facebook link.]     I was in Alaska at the…

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The Englishman Who Saved Cherry Trees

Book cover "The Sakura Obsession," by Naoko Abe

Cherry blossom viewers love the variety known as “yoshino.” The white petals tinged in pink make up the clouds that encircle the Tidal Basin in Washington every spring. In “The Sakura Obsession,” the author Naoko Abe shows a flip side of that enthusiasm. Her new book tells the story of an Englishman so concerned about…

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Richmond Offers a Great History-Packed Weekend

Tredegar site of American Civil War Museum

How is it I never knew what a great town Richmond is? It’s only a hundred miles south of our home in Washington, so I’m baffled why Bruce and I didn’t explore it sooner. We ended our recent weekend there vowing to go back, as there’s a lot more we want to see and do.…

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Scidmore in Book on Women Writing in WWI

Book "In Their Own Words" on Women in WWI

(Reposted from October 14, 2015) Eliza Scidmore, the subject of my biography in progress, appears in a new book of writings by American women in World War I. Author Elizabeth Foxwell took a very different turn in compiling the anthology. Foxwell has spent much of her career immersed in mystery and crime fiction. A true…

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