Tomboy is in People magazine this week as one of their book picks. Pretty stoked that my bratty graphic novel about gender somehow wound up in America’s most popular magazine.
“Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis” (Pulp/Zest Books), by Alexis Coe, illustrated by Sally Klann, out October 7th. In 1892, a young woman named Alice Mitchell murdered another young woman, Freda Ward, with a razor. The two had previously been lovers with plans to get married (Alice was going to pose as a man), but they were forced to end their relationship after their families found out about it. The separation sent Alice into despair until, one day, she attacked Freda in the street and killed her. The murder was a national sensation at the time, but is little known today. Alexis Coe came across the case in a scholarly article while she was in graduate school and became fascinated by Mitchell and Ward’s story. She retells it here with the color and liveliness of a novel. Her account is accompanied by illustrations of the people, scenes, and artifacts that populate this story of forbidden love.—A.D. (via Books to Watch Out For: October - The New Yorker)
I’m happy to chat with you about Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe as part of Zest’s True Stories blog tour! This book is the first release for Zest Book’s new Pulp imprint – an imprint for new adults. I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately, and I’m enjoying finding out how compelling these real life stories can be. Alice + Freda Forever just hit shelves yesterday and it’s quite original and terrific.
Alice + Freda Forever is set in 1892 and is about the real-life, tragic love story of 19-year-old Alice Mitchell and 17-year-old Freda Ward. The two had planned to wed (with Alice posing as a man) when their plans were thwarted. Their families forbid further contact, and Alice turned increasingly desperate. Their love story turned tragic when Alice murders her ex-fiancée Freda, thinking if she can’t have her no one will.
Debut author Alexis Coe, historian and columnist for The Awl and The Toast, was fascinated by the notorious case and inspired to bring this narrative history to life. The text is enhanced with Sally Klann’s illustrated maps, letters and character sketches that bring Alice + Freda’s story off the page.
Alice + Freda Forever is a real page-turner. Alice answers for her crime in dramatic courtroom proceedings that would have been the talk of twitter had that been around back then. Journalists have a field day covering this sensational case, zeroing in on the taboo same-sex relationship.
The Alice + Freda story is heartbreaking yet fascinating, and Coe’s storytelling is riveting. The social commentary on gender norms, lgbt issues, feminism, and race make the story even meatier. This is a quick, powerful read that I think will appeal to a wide variety of readers. I hadn’t heard of Alice + Freda’s story before, but I’m glad it’s out there now for more people to discover.
The whole book is quite lovely to look at, from the book jacket to the book underneath, to the illustrations. I’m not sure it would have as much appeal in e-book form, so try to pick up a copy in print.
Read more about the book in this author Q&A to find out more about the inspiration behind the book.
Giveaway! Zest Books is offering an autographed copy of Alice + Freda Forever to one lucky reader. Giveaway is open to US/Canada residents age 13 and up. To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter:
Follow all the stops on the Zest Books True Stories blog tour for reviews, interviews, giveaways and more!
Related articlesAlice + Freda Forever by Alexis Coe Review and Giveaway @ZestBooks #aliceandfredaI’m happy to chat with you about Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis by…
This is how going to and from school has been this week. My daughter is completely sucked into Tomboy by Liz Prince.
Slug solos. Genius.