Sunday, March 3, 2019

Elizabeth Letts

Elizabeth Letts's new novel is Finding Dorothy.

From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: What first got you interested in the life of Maud Gage Baum, and were you always a fan of The Wizard of Oz?

A: I vividly remember my first time seeing The Wizard of Oz when I was 4 years old—the local TV store opened their doors to the public so that neighborhood folk could watch it on a color TV.

But I knew nothing about the life of L. Frank Baum and his wife Maud until I was reading the book aloud to my son a few years ago and I noticed anew how strong and vivid the female characters were. I wondered why I knew nothing about the author of such a famous story.

That was when I discovered the Gage women—his wife, Maud, and his mother-in-law, Matilda Joslyn Gage. I was intrigued to learn that Baum’s wife was raised to be very modern and independent by her mother, a famous suffragist and close friend of Susan B. Anthony.

But it wasn’t until I saw a photo of Maud Baum on the set of the 1939 movie with actress Judy Garland that I realized I had a story to tell.

Maud was a widow by then, strong-minded, but as an older woman it could not have been easy to make her voice heard in male-dominated 1930s Hollywood, and Judy Garland was barely 16 when she seem to capture the very essence of hope when...[read on]
Visit Elizabeth Letts's website.

--Marshal Zeringue