When David Ebershoff first heard about Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Youngs 19th wife, he knew there was a book in there somewhere. My writers ears stood up, he says.
Ann Eliza, an intelligent, outspoken and beautiful young woman, separated from her powerful husband, the prophet and leader of the Mormon Church, in 1875. On a crusade to end polygamy in the United States, she spent the next ten years lecturing about and advocating against plural marriages, exposing the humiliation and suffering many women went though.
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When he began research for his novel The 19th Wife, Ebershoff quickly realized that Ann Elizas story was still being played out in the polygamist enclaves throughout Utah, so he added a modern story about another 19th wife, intertwining the two womens experiences and drawing parallels between their lives. Told through a variety of formats and voices, including autobiography, letters, poetry and even a Wikipedia entry, The 19th Wife is a look inside polygamy and the courage of the women who dared to challenge it. 7 p.m. Blue Willow Books, 14532 Memorial. For information, call 281-497-8675 or visit www.bluewillowbookshop.com. Free.
Thu., Sept. 11, 7 p.m., 2008