From a Q & A with Glenn Stout, author of Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World:
What attracted you to the story of Trudy Ederle? How did you first hear about it?Read an excerpt from Young Woman and the Sea, and learn more about the book and author at Glenn Stout's blog.
I stumbled across her story nearly a decade ago while working with the late David Halberstam on the collection we did together, The Best Sports Writing of the Century. Although a story about Trudy did not make it into that volume, I was nevertheless intrigued by the brief account I read. Despite the fact that I had previous written a great deal about women’s sports figures and sports history, writing profiles of pioneers like Eleanora Sears and Louise Stokes, and ghostwriting biographies of people like Mia Hamm, the tennis playing Williams sisters, skater Tara Lipinski and others, Trudy’s story had somehow eluded me. Over the next five or six years, as I fulfilled other commitments, I periodically researched her story until I was able to determine there was enough for a book – no one had ever written a biography of her before. You know, when she swam the Channel she was only nineteen years old, the first woman to do so. Only five others – all men – had ever swum the Channel at the time, and Trudy beat the men’s record by nearly two hours! That stunned me, particularly after I learned that fewer people have swum the Channel than have climbed Mount Everest. Even today, swimming the Channel is one of the most difficult athletic feats on the planet.
So I started poking around at the story. Even a cursory look at old newspaper accounts convinced me of...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Young Woman and the Sea.