Monica Hesse biography

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Monica Hesse

Monica Hesse

Monica Hesse Biography

Monica Hesse is a features writer at The Washington Post, where she writes widely-shared longform pieces and has covered royal weddings, dog shows, political campaigns, and White House state dinners. Monica has talked about those stories and others on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CSPAN, FOX, and NPR. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their dog.

Monica Hesse's website

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Interview

Monica Hesse talks about the relevance of historical fiction, how her background as a journalist for the Washington Post informs her writing, and how she immersed herself in Dutch history and culture to research Girl in a Blue Coat

How much of this novel is based on actual historical events, real places, and people who actually lived? Such as the Schouwburg Theater – does that place really exist and was it used for that purpose?

The people are entirely fictional, but the places and historical events are entirely real. The Schouwburg was a theater that was taken over by the Nazis and used as a deportation center – now it's a museum and memorial. It was a hideous example of the atrocities being carried out literally alongside daily life. But it was also the site of some fairly incredible resistance work. The characters in my book draw a lot from the Amsterdam Student Group, an organization of young people who worked to rescue children from the Schouwburg and place them in safe homes for the duration of the war.

With rare exception, everything that happens in Girl in the Blue Coat could have happened exactly that way in real life. I wanted it to be unimpeachable in terms of research.

How did you go about doing your research?

I think a lot of times, people think of research as being just about trekking to the library. I like to think of research as a multi-sensory experience. I ate a lot of Dutch food – almost all of which appears in the book ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Monica Hesse at BookBrowse
American Fire jacket Girl in the Blue Coat jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Monica Hesse but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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