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Bestselling Novelist Susan Vreeland Visits SLCL

Press Release

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 12:00p.m.


The St. Louis County Library Foundation and Pudd’nHead Books are pleased to present Susan Vreeland, acclaimed author of “Girl and Hyacinth Blue” and other bestselling novels set in the art world. Vreeland will discuss and sign her latest novel “Clara and Mr. Tiffany” on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Pudd’nHead Books.

Against the backdrop of New York near the turn of the twentieth century, from the Gilded Age world of formal balls and opera to the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side, Susan Vreeland again breathes life into a work of art in this extraordinary novel, which brings a woman once lost in the shadows into vivid color.

It’s 1893, and at the Chicago World’s Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows, which he hopes will honor his family business and earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women’s division. Publicly unrecognized by Tiffany, Clara conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which he is long remembered.

Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces a strict policy: under no circumstances will he employ a married woman. Eventually, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.

Susan Vreeland is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” “Life Studies,” “The Passion of Artemisia,” “The Forest Lover,” and “Girl in Hyacinth Blue.”

Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit