Edith Wharton still going strong at 153! Her Birthday Being Celebrated at The Mount on January 24th

Connie Speaking at The Mount

Connie Speaking at The Mount

At Edith Wharton’s former home and museum, The Mount near Lennox, Massachusetts, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s birthday is celebrated in style and with an emphasis on all things literary. This Saturday, January 24, her birthday begins with bookshares over bagels and continues with dramatic readings, silent reading time, raffles, and a poetry open mic – a sort of Lit-Crawl with stops at bookstores, libraries, restaurants and The Mount.

This year, Edith’s birthday coincides (coincidently or not) with the first annual National Readathon Day, a joint initiative from the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, Mashable and Penguin Random House.  Libraries and bookstores across the country are participating and so are readers of all ages who are raising money to support their participation.  Proceeds from the national event support the Foundation’s education and literacy efforts.

In my YA biography of the writer, The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton (Clarion 2010), you can read more about Wharton’s two lifelong “ruling passions” – the joy of reading and love of books.

This Saturday and every day, don’t forget to take #timetoread!

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton

By Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Edith Wharton, author of Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, and other acclaimed novels, was born into a wealthy New York City family during the Gilded Age. In fact, she was a Jones of “keeping up with the Joneses” fame.  This anecdote opens Woodridge’s biography of an astonishing life.  Beginning in childhood, Edith found ways to escape from society’s and her family’s expectations and follow an unconventional, creative path. Unhappily married and eventually divorced, she surrounded herself with the cultural creatives of her day, mostly male friends.  To escape the obligations of New York City high society, she spent much of her life in Paris and was recognized by the French government for her work establishing four charities during World War I. Her literary and personal life, her witty and incisive correspondence, her fondness for automobiles and small dogs–all are detailed in this vibrant account of a woman well ahead of her time.  Includes photographs, a bibliography, source notes, and an index.

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The Author

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge has written and published 5 non-fiction picture books for children, as well as articles and stories for Highlights for Children and Cricket. Her most recent book entitled Just Fine the Way They Are (Caulkins Creek/Boyd Mills Press) tells the story of how dirt roads turned into our present day interstate system.