Sunday, February 22, 2009

Robin Gerber

Robin Gerber is the author of several books including her new book, Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her (Harper/Collins). She has also written Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage (Penguin/Portfolio, 2002) and Katharine Graham: The Leadership Journey of an American Icon with a foreword by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great (Penguin/Portfolio, October, 2005). Her novel Eleanor vs. Ike (Harper/Avon, January, 2008) imagines Eleanor Roosevelt as a candidate for President.

This weekend I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I just read Caroline Moorehead’s biography, Gellhorn:A Twentieth Century Life, the story of the journalist and wife of Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn. Gellhorn was restless and intrepid, a match for Hemingway in her intensity, moods and need to be in the center of the action. They covered the Spanish Civil War together, fought, married, fought some more, traveled, loved and divorced in a firestorm of recrimination. She was the only woman who left him, and probably the only one he loved. I had admired Gellhorn for years and the book confirmed my impression of her as yet another woman who deserves a more prominent place in history.

Before Gellhorn, I read Robert Coles' biography, Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion. She was founder of the Catholic Worker movement, a radical reformer who lived her beliefs by staying in her “Houses of Hospitality,” that sheltered and fed the homeless during the Depression. Day presents an extreme of belief, conviction and choice that we rarely see, and that is deeply moving.

In between, as I contemplate trying genre fiction, I’ve been reading David Baldacci’s Last Man Standing. He’s a master of maintaining a character’s point of view, and keeping readers on the edge of their seats.
Learn more about Robin Gerber and her work at her website.

--Marshal Zeringue