In American Rose, Karen Abbott chronicles the tale of burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee and her ascent to stardom in Depression-era America. Abbott follows the transformation of Louise Hovick, an awkward girl living in her younger sister’s shadow, into a glamorous star of the stage and screen. She also considers Gypsy’s dramatic relationship with her sister, actress June Havoc, and their mother, the fiery and ambitious Rose. Overall, American Rose is the story of a woman who became an entertainment legend against all odds and whose relentless drive to succeed embodied the American Dream.
Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City.
Recorded Thursday, January 13, 2011 at The Newberry Library.