5 Upcoming Author Events for Women's History Month

By Jason F. RSS Mon, March 6, 2023

March is National Women’s History Month, and the Free Library’s author events series will feature five related authors who are making history in literary fiction, the business world, medicine, social justice, and more!


Debra Lee and her book I Am Debra Lee: A Memoir with Tamala Edwards


Debra Lee | I Am Debra Lee: A Memoir — In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6abc Action News morning edition

Thursday, March 9, 2023: 7:30 PM

The former longtime CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Debra Lee currently serves on the boards of several of the world’s leading corporations, including Proctor & Gamble, Warner Bros. Discovery, Revlon, Burberry Group Plc, and Marriott International. She is the founder and chairwoman of Leading Women Defined Foundation, an organization of Black female thought leaders, and is the co-founder of Monarchs Collective, a group that empowers men and women of color to sit on corporate boards. One of the Hollywood Reporter’s "100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment" and Billboard’s "Power 100," Lee is an inductee into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. I Am Debra Lee charts her journey from girlhood in the segregated South to heading the first Black company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, along the way offering personal anecdotes, celebrity stories, and lessons about motherhood while trying to make a career.

Here she is receiving BET’s Ultimate Icon Award back in 2018


Connie Briscoe and her book You Never Know: A Novel of Domestic Suspense with Diane McKinney-Whetstone


Connie Briscoe | You Never Know: A Novel of Domestic Suspense — In conversation with Diane McKinney-Whetstone

Monday, March 20, 2023: 7:30 PM

Acclaimed for her literary portrayals of Black women’s relationships, Connie Briscoe's historical and romance novels have found acclaim and a wide readership for nearly three decades. Sisters and Lovers, her first novel, sold 500,000 copies and her second novel, Big Girls Don’t Cry, was a New York Times bestseller. Her other works include Money Can’t Buy Love, P.G. Country, and A Long Way from Home, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. A former managing editor of Gallaudet University’s American Annals of the Deaf journal, Briscoe was born with a hearing impairment. After progressively losing more of her hearing, several years ago she had a cochlear implant that restored much of what she had lost. Partly inspired by these experiences, You Never Know features a hearing-impaired protagonist who fights off an attacker only to wonder later if he and her new husband are the same person.

Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the author of six novels, including Tumbling, Tempest Rising, Trading Dreams at Midnight, and Lazaretto, a historical novel set in a legendary 19th-century Philadelphia quarantine hospital. A two-time recipient of the American Library Association Black Caucus Literary Award for fiction and winner of a Zora Neale Hurston Society Award, she taught creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania for 12 years and has contributed writing to The Atlantic, Essence, and Philadelphia Magazine. In Our Gen, McKinney-Whetstone follows the residents of a Philadelphia-area active-living retirement community who revert to the passions and excesses of their youth.

Here she discusses her work on a recent episode of the Library Love Fest podcast


VIRTUAL: Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. | Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice — In conversation with Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023: 7:30 PM

A professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for more than 40 years, Judith Lewis Herman, M.D., is one of the United States’ foremost experts on the treatment of post-traumatic stress and incest. “One of the most important psychiatry works to be published since Freud” (The New York Times), her groundbreaking 1992 book Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence — From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror redefined medicine’s understanding of trauma survivors. Herman is the director of training at the Victims of Violence Program at The Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a founding member of the Women's Mental Health Collective. Her many honors include the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the 2000 American Medical Women’s Association Award, and in 2003 the American Psychiatric Association bestowed upon her the title of Distinguished Life Fellow. A manifesto for a new framework of justice, Truth and Repair argues that survivors’ voices should be central elements in our criminal justice system.

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., is the author of the number-one New York Times bestseller The Body Keeps the Score, a watershed examination of the ways traumatic stress affects the physical health of human beings. The founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, he is a professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and is the director of the National Complex Trauma Treatment Network.

From 2013, one of Dr. Herman’s seminars about the impact of early life trauma


Emily St. John Mandel and her book Sea of Tranquility with Laura McGrath


Emily St. John Mandel | Sea of Tranquility — In conversation with Laura McGrath, Assistant Professor of English at Temple University

Tuesday, March 28, 2023: 7:30 PM

A “soul-quaking” (Los Angeles Review of Books) meditation on the everyday miracles we take for granted set amongst the travels and travails of a Shakespearean acting troupe in the years following a global plague, Emily St. John Mandel’s bestselling Station 11 was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her other novels include Last Night in Montreal, The Singer’s Gun, and The Glass Hotel, included by Barack Obama on his 2022 summer reading list. Mandel is also a staff writer for art and culture magazine The Millions. Peripherally set in the same universe as Station 11 and The Glass Hotel, Sea of Tranquility follows interconnected time-hopping characters seeking love and metaphysical truth in such far-flung locales as the wilderness of 19th century British Columbia and the domed cities of the 25th century lunar surface.


Angela Saini and her book The Patriarchs: The Origins of Inequality


Angela Saini | The Patriarchs: The Origins of Inequality

Wednesday, March 29, 2023: 7:30 PM

Angela Saini is the author of Superior, an “easy-to-read blend of science reporting, cultural criticism, and personal reflection” (Slate) that explores the resurgence of the harmful and faulty study of race science. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed Inferior, a new portrait of women’s minds, bodies, and evolutionary roles gained through an investigation of how science has failed to accurately understand them. Her print and television science journalism have appeared on the BBC, The Guardian, New Scientist, and Wired, among other places. In The Patriarchs, Saini investigates the surprising origins and history of gendered oppression, offers a historical examination of the brittle and constantly reasserted nature of patriarchy, and analyzes contemporary research and revolutionary efforts to combat these systems of control.

Browse the Free Library Author Events page for more upcoming author discussions.

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