Author and historian Lois Leveen has been visiting colleges to talk about The Secrets of Mary Bowser, her historical novel about real-life slave-turned-spy, Mary Bowser, who risked her own freedom to change the course of history. Bowser was freed before the Civil War by the daughter of the family that owned her, and sent north to be educated. When the Civil War broke out, she made the courageous decision to pose as a slave in the Confederate White House, and pass along Jefferson Davis’s plans to the Union. Leveen, a Harvard educated former professor, combines impeccable research and ingenius speculation to bring Bowser’s story to life, creating an enthralling read that interrogates our androcentric view of war-time history.
Leveen just returned from Chicago, where she spoke at Loyola University, DePaul University, Temple Beth Israel, and the Pritzker Military Library (video available online here). Several of her talks were chosen as Critics’ Picks by TimeOut: Chicago, she was highlighted in the author events listings in the Chicago Tribune, and she will have an essay running in the Tribune slated for February 24th in the “Books and Films” issue.
She will be speaking at the University of Detroit-Mercy on 2/12 and at Indiana University-Bloomington on 2/18. Click on the picture above to begin browsing The Secrets of Mary Bowser.