David Ebershoff is the author of four books, including The Danish Girl and the #1 bestseller The 19th Wife. The Danish Girl was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Academy Award-winners Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild awards, and five BAFTAs. The 19th Wife was made into a television movie that has aired around the globe. Ebershoff's books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages to critical acclaim and twice Out Magazine has named him to its annual Out 100 list of influential LGBT people.
David had a long career as an editor at Random House, where he edited more than twenty New York Times bestsellers and three Pulitzer Prize winners and a winner of the National Book Award. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. Originally from Pasadena, California, he now lives in New York City.
David Ebershoff's website
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David Ebershoff discusses The 19th Wife
How did you first encounter the story of Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, and what drew you to her story?
I first heard about Ann Eliza Young seven years ago while editing a book for the Modern Library. I had hired a scholar a specialist in 19th century women's history to write a set of endnotes for a classic we were reissuing. History geek that I am, one afternoon I was gabbing with her about all sorts of 19th-century arcana when she mentioned the 19th Wife. I told her I'd never heard of her and she gave a me brief introduction. Needless to say, my writer's ears stood up.
At the time I was working on another novel, one that I would ultimately put aside to write The 19th Wife. And so for a few years, while my attention was elsewhere, that nickname the 19th Wife continued to ring in my head. The 19th Wife? Who was that? What does it even mean to be a 19th wife? After a few years I started looking into that question. As I read more about Ann Eliza Young, I recognized how remarkable she was: intelligent, outspoken, declarative, contradictory, somewhat unreliable, a tad melodramatic, very beautiful (and a little bit vain) she ...
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