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Marsha Gordon Image

Dear Marsha,

I have always loved libraries. 

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, nothing made me happier than going to our local Woodland Hills public library and filling my canvas tote bag with books and then making my way through the stack, book by book, before heading back to return them (always before the due date!) and starting all over again.

Ursula Parrott also spent a lot of time in libraries, especially when she was writing. For example, when she was drafting Next Time We Live, which was adapted into the movie Next Time We Love with Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart, she spent four full days at the library before she felt she could accurately describe the details of a Manchurian railroad station.  That's four days of research for a single scene! If you are local, I’ll be introducing Next Time We Love on Sunday August 27that 2pm at the Chelsea Theater in Chapel Hill.

I was THRILLED to see that my local library system has 24 copies of Becoming the Ex-Wife and that there is a waitlist to borrow the book at the very popular Oberlin Regional location. It makes me smile to think about people coming in to actually request my book, take it out and read it, and then hand it back for the next person to borrow—at no cost to them. That’s the simple beauty of the public library. It often seems that it’s one of our last enriching and equitable public spaces.

LitHub Article

I was also thrilled to receive this photo of a library checkout card from my friend and colleague Tom Whiteside. He found it inside Ursula Parrott’s The Tumult and the Shouting, which he checked out from Duke University Library.  The book had originally been acquired for their Woman's College Library. I wish I could talk to Dinny, Mary Mae, Eunice, or one of the first-nameless Mrs. readers to learn what they thought of Parrott's book!

San Francisco Experience Podcast

Since my newsletter last month, I did two new podcasts: The Curious Professor, which was focused on creativity, and A Life in Biography, which was about the task of being a biographer.

Reviews have continued to appear. The most thoughtful of them is Adam Sobsey’s beautifully written “There’s Always Tomorrow: On Ursula Parrott and Marsha Gordon’s ‘Becoming the Ex-Wife’” in the LA Review of Books, which is a sensitive assessment of both my book and of Parrott’s significance. I feel honored to have had so much reviewer attention in the past few weeks, including in The Baffler, the New York Review of Books, Biblio (Leftover Lady: Collecting Ursula Parrott ), and History Nerds Unite.

I’ll be announcing my fall book tour very soon, so stay tuned for news of upcoming events in Bloomington, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Lansing, Chapel Hill, Durham, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City! 

If you want a sneak preview, all my future events appear on the main page of my website.

Thank you!  


Marsha Gordon

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