Lost tales of Gold Rush Women...

Are diamonds really a girl's best friend?
Naw....it's GOLD.

Please join us on Thursday, March 17th, to hear some fascinating stories about History's Lost Voices - the Women of the California Gold Rush.

After 1848, when gold was discovered in California, dreams of adventure and instant wealth made westward movement the all-consuming passion of the nation. "Go West Young Man" became the catch phrase of the era, but joining these young men was a hardy collection of women.

Prostitutes and preacher's wives, escaped slaves and society women, reformers, teachers, saloon keepers, cross dressers, criminals...the women of the Gold Rush helped shape the region and the nation. Yet their stories have been largely forgotten.

Who were Luzena Wilson, Mary Ellen Pleasant, Eliza Farnham, and Lola MontezDuring her engaging talk Mary Volmer will explore how the interplay of fiction and history allows for the compassionate re-imagining some of California's most famous (and infamous) female residents.

Please RSVP to hold a space.  There is no charge to attend and light refreshments will be served.

Date:         Thursday, March 17th

Time:         7:30 pm

Place:        Swan's Fine Books
                  1381 Locust Street, Walnut Creek

Call us at (925) 935-1190 with any questions.  RSVPs may be made via phone or email to:  shop@swansfinebooks.com .

Thank you for having recently visited us, either at the store or online!  We look forward to seeing you again, either at this or some future event.

Please note that the City of Walnut parking meters are in force through 8:00 p.m.  
Parking in the city garages is free for the first hour and is $1.00/hour thereafter.

Meet the Speaker

Mary Ellen Volmer is the author of two novels:  Crown of Dust and Reliance, Illinois.  She earned an MFA at Saint Mary's College (CA) and a masters' degree from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.  She has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook.  

Her short fiction and essays have appeared in magazines and journals such as the Farallon Review, Mutha Magazine and Women's Basketball Magazine, and have been featured on Stories on Stage (Sacramento).  She teaches at Saint Mary's College.  

Read more about Mary and her work at  www.maryvolmer.com.
Crown of Dust, the debut novel by Mary Volmer, founding director of the SMC Honors Program, was reviewed as part of a five-book "Fiction Chronicle" in the New York Times Book Review. The novel is a gender-bending story of friendship, love and redemption set in the Wild West during the gold rush.


Due out in May of this Year, Reliance, Illinois "has it all - mystery, politics, war; love, death, and art.  In finely wrought sentences, Volmer's novel follows such a lively cast of characters, first and foremost her marvelous protagonist Madelyn.  Every page is a pleasure". - Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
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