What's Happening NOW
Stephanie will present a special multimedia show about her new novel Cat Dreaming: A Story of Friendships and Second Chances, on Saturday, March 2, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the BPL at 30 South Street in JP. With a soundtrack and images from the 1980s, readings and a discussion on the transition from nonfiction to fiction, Stephanie will take readers on a surreal journey to surreal decade, with cats as the spirit animals leading the way. FREE
Praise for Cat Dreaming:
"Cat Dreaming is a poignant, very funny jaunt through the wild and unpredictable 1980s."
Randy Ross, author, God Bless Cambodia
"This is 'Sex and the City' with cats."
Erica Ferencik, author, The River at Night
"With Cat Dreaming, Schorow has written her version of a Taylor Swift song; she exacts creative revenge on former lovers."
John G, a former lover.
Celebrate Women's History Month in March with three FREE opportunities to hear the tale of the four 19th Century Merrie Trippers of Great Brewster Island and the modern group of women who rescued them from obscurity.
On March 11, March 12, and March 20, Stephanie and members of the Merrie Trippers team will present a multimedia show on A Boston Harbor Island Adventure: The Great Brewster Journal. They will share how they delved into the enigmas of an 1891 journal and uncovered the story of four remarkable women. Learn how they solved the mysteries of the women's identities. See images from the journal and from Boston Harbor Island, then and now. Hear the voices of the women as the team reads from the journal.
All the events listed below are free but may require registration. The authors will be on hand to sign purchased copies of A Boston Harbor Island Adventure: The Great Brewster Journal.
March 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library, 27 Richmond St.
Dorchester. (617) 298-7841
March 12, 6 to 7 p.m. Boston Public Library, Main Branch/Back Bay, 700 Boylston St. Registration required here.
March 20, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Revolutionary Harbor, Atlantic Wharf - Fort Point Room, 290 Congress St. Registration required here. This program is presented by the National Park Service and Boston Harbor Now as part of the Revolutionary Harbor lecture series
ATTENTION BOOK CLUBS
Please be aware that I am happy to speak to your book club via Zoom, particularly about my new novel, Cat Dreaming and A Boston Harbor Islands Adventure, a tale of four intrepid women who spent more than two weeks on Great Brewster Island in the 1891 and left an intriguing journal of their exploits.
Both books are excellent choices for discussions.
Email sschorow (at) gmail (dot) com for more information.
If you are interested in having me speak to your organization, school or community group about Boston's Combat Zone, Boston's drinking history, the Boston Harbor Islands, Boston fire history, the infamous Brink's robbery or a related topic, please email me at sschorow (at) comcast.net
PLEASE NOTE: I CAN ALSO DO REMOTE PRESENTATIONS VIA ZOOM OR OTHER ONLINE PLATFORMS
Here's what I talk about:
The Tragedy of the Cocoanut Grove Fire
This 1942 nightclub fire killed nearly 500 people and burned through the heart of Boston. Stephanie recounts the events that led to the fire, its investigation and its enduring mysteries. New information continues to come forward and Stephanie brings the latest to life. She also leaves time for people to share their stories of the Grove, making for a moving, interactive event.
Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston’s most notorious neighborhood
Boston has always been known for its stiff character. So how did this great New England city become home to one of the largest and most notorious adult entertainment districts in the nation? In this talk based on two years of research, veteran reporter Stephanie Schorow teases out the issues that created this controversial neighborhood, giving voice to the players who sought to tame or profit from the sleaze snaking its way through Boston. At turns comic and tragic, Schorow introduces us to the politicians, exotic dancers, and wise guys, and residents brought together by the adult entertainment district—a five-acre neighborhood the city engineered to contain the very porno plague it wanted to eliminate. Meet the nun-turned-attorney who advocated for the First Amendment rights of adult bookstores, a dancer called “the thinking man’s stripper,” and Boston’s unofficial city censor. For these people and thousands of others, the Combat Zone is more than a memory—it was a life-altering adventure.
Drinking Boston: A historical pub crawl through the taverns, speakeasies and nightclubs of Boston.
From the drama of the "Blue Blazer" to the mystery of the "Ward 8," Stephanie serves up a cocktail of pop culture, history and anecdotes. Couple this with dinner and drinks and you'll have event that will have people talking. The talk covers Boston's drinking history, beginning in the Colonial period and continuing through Prohibition and into Boston's craft cocktail scene.
The Boston Mob Guide: Hit Men, Hoodlums and Hideouts
With partner-in-crime Beverly Ford, Stephanie takes a walk on Boston's wild side with the bad boys of the Hub. The gals trace the history of organized crime in Boston from its roots in the 1910s and 1920s in Irish and Jewish neighborhoods to Whitey Bulger and his convictions. With photos, films and a “mobster flow sheet,” they talk about characters such as Frank “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, Joseph “The Animal” Barbozo, and the Angiulo family. With compassion for victims as well as intriguing details on the mobsters, Bev and Stephanie paint an indelible portrait of murder and mayhem in the Hub.
Fire! Boston Burning
Stephanie talks about fire history and how it shaped Boston, taking a walk down Boston’s “Fire Trail.” This includes the tale of the burning of the Urusline convent in Charlestown in the 1830s, the Broad Street Riots. and the invention of the first fire alarm system. We look at the conflagration that devastated Boston like a nuclear bomb: The 1872 Great Boston Fire Boston. And we examine the Cocoanut Grove fire of 1942. We hear about the history of the inferno and recent developments, including an upcoming documentary and an effort to better memorialize the site.
The Crime of the Century: The Brink's Job
In January of 1950, a band of misfit thieves broke into the Brink's armored car headquarters in Boston's North End and pulled off the largest robbery in U.S. history. The Crime of the Century went unsolved for six years and police only cracked the case when one of the robbers turned stool pigeon. Much of the money was never recovered. Stephanie uses historical images, FBI evidence, movie clips and humor to bring the story of the Brink's heist to life.
To see videos of various presentations, go to the Works section of this Web site and click on one of the books listed. To schedule a lecture, please email me at sschorow (at) comcast (dot) net
Upcoming Presentations, Readings, and Book Signings
Celebrate the new year with a virtual trip to the Boston Harbor Islands on Monday, Jan. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. with the Needham History Center. Free. Address is 1147 Central Avenue, Needham.
A talk by author Stephanie Schorow
In 1891, four intrepid women from Lowell sailed to a remote island in Boston Harbor for a 17-day escape from New England's prim and proper society. Calling themselves the Scribe, the Aristocrat, the Acrobat, and the Autocrat, the women rusticated in a cottage on Great Brewster Island, reveling in the chance to shed their identities of wife, mother, and daughter. Relive their sojourn through their remarkable journal, filled with observations, illustrations, photographs, and poetry.
The Great Brewster Journal project was conceived and coordinated by Stephanie Schorow, and the journal was reproduced by the Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands. Support for the project came from the Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands (FBHI) under the direction of Suzanne Gall Marsh, founder of FBHI, a current FBHI board member and a former National Park ranger for the Boston Harbor Islands.
PAST EVENTS OF NOTE
The Boston Erotic Literary Festival, Held on Oct 17, 2020.
I spoke about the Combat Zone at Boston's first erotic literary festival, featuring: racy readings, performances, talks, lectures, and an open mic. The free one-and-a-half hour festival, staged live via Zoom and Facebook for free, paid tribute to the art of writing about sex with flare, verve, and good grammar. It probed Boston's notorious past where everything supposedly banned in Boston was on full display. The agenda included readings, performances, history lectures, a 10-minute session on how to write a literary sex scene, and an open mic.
The organizers didn't guarantee everything will be in good taste but they did promise an event that will be lively, funny, and educational.
Here's a link to video of the event. I am on at about the 30.08 mark.