A Special Great Writers, Great Readings: Martha McPhee and Hofstra Alum and Author Dina Santorelli

Hofstra Creative Writing Professor Martha McPhee offers a Sneak Preview of An Elegant Woman (Due Out from Scribner, June 2, 2020) in A Special Great Writers, Great Readings Event, also featuring Hofstra Alum and Author Dina Santorelli. 

Drawn from Professor McPhee’s own family history, An Elegant Woman is a story of discovery and reinvention, following four generations of women in one American family. As Isadora, a novelist, and two of her sisters sift through the artifacts of their forebears’ lives, trying to decide what to salvage and what to toss, the narrative shifts to a winter day in 1910 at a train station in Ohio. Two girls wait in the winter cold with their mother--the mercurial Glenna Stewart--to depart for a new life in the W​est. As Glenna campaigns in Montana for women’s suffrage and teaches in one-room schoolhouses, Tommy takes care of her little sister, Katherine: trapping animals, begging, keeping house, cooking, while Katherine goes to school. When Katherine graduates, Tommy makes a decision that will change the course of both of their lives.

A profound meditation on memory, history, and legacy, An Elegant Woman follows one woman over the course of the 20th century, taking the reader from a drought-stricken farm in Montana to a yellow Victorian in Maine; from the halls of a psychiatric hospital in London to a wedding gown fitting at Bergdorf Goodman; from a house in small town Ohio to a family reunion at a sweltering New Jersey pig roast. Framed by Isadora’s efforts to retell her grandmother’s journey--and understand her own--the novel is an evocative exploration of the stories we tell ourselves, and what we leave out.


Pre-order for An Elegant Woman is available on AmazonAudibleBarnes & Noble and Bookshop


Martha McPhee is the author of the novels An Elegant Woman (June 2020), Bright Angel Time, Gorgeous Lies, L’America, and Dear Money. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Gorgeous Lies was a finalist for the National Book Award. She teaches fiction at Hofstra University and lives in New York City. 

Voted one of the best Long Island authors for two consecutive years, Dina Santorelli writes thriller and suspense novels. Her debut novel, Baby Grand, the first book in her Baby Grand Trilogy, was a #1 Political Thriller, #1 Kidnapping Thriller & #1 Organized Crime Thriller on Amazon Kindle and reached the Top 30 in the Paid Kindle Store. She has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years and also lectures for Hofstra University’s Continuing Education Department. Dina earned an undergraduate degree in communication arts and a master’s in creative writing from Hofstra University.



Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event; Advance registration required: RSVP

Free and open to the public.

Please RSVP using the RSVP for this Event link. Registrants will be sent an event link to attend prior to the event. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2020



Hofstra University Virtual Event
Offered online
Hempstead, NY 11549-1000


Kristine Glanzer

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