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The first biography of Elsie Robinson, the most influential newspaper columnist you’ve never heard of

At thirty-five, Elsie Robinson feared she’d lost it all. Reeling from a scandalous divorce in 1917, she had no means to support herself and her chronically ill son. She dreamed of becoming a writer and was willing to sacrifice everything for this goal, even swinging a pickax in a gold mine to pay the bills.

When the mine shut down, she moved to the Bay Area. Armed with moxie and samples of her work, she barged into the offices of the Oakland Tribune and was hired on the spot. She went on to become a nationally syndicated columnist and household name whose column ran for over thirty years and garnered fifty million readers.

Told in cinematic detail with bestselling co-author Julia ScheeresListen, World! is the inspiring story of a timeless maverick, capturing what it means to take a gamble on self-fulfillment and find freedom along the way.

Listen, World! is being published with Seal Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.

Coming September 27, 2022. Pre-order your copy now.

Featured Q&As

Soledad O’Brien on Her Beloved Grandfather, the Significance of a Photograph, and the Importance of Telling Stories

Soledad O’Brien and I met in the first days of MSNBC. We both left years after launch but crossed paths again at CNN where she was an anchor and I…

Arianna Huffington helps me launch new q & a series

I’m thrilled to announce a new Q & A feature on my blog, a series of interviews with luminaries around the world. And I’m overjoyed to reveal my first conversation is with the incomparable Arianna Huffington! The focus of every discussion will be grief …

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on losing his mother, the heirloom he adores most, and how staying connected to loved ones and ancestors makes us stronger

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an American treasure. The first time we met was when I interviewed him…

Christina Baker Kine on losing her mom, leaning on her sisters, and why talking about complicated relationships helps

This month’s Q&A on grief and resilience is very special to me. I got to speak with #1 New York Times bestselling author …

Gretchen Rubin reflects on memories, resilience, and happiness

Perhaps you wouldn’t expect me to feature New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin on my blog.  After all, I focus on grief and resilience and Gretchen tackles all facets of…

Ann Hood talks about grief and resilience

I first became aware of New York Times bestselling author Ann Hood after reading her deeply stirring book, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, a memoir about losing her 5-year-old daughter Grace  to a severe form of strep…

From the Blog

Huzzah! My New Book Cover!

Here she is!! The cover of my new book, Listen, World!: How the Intrepid Elsie Robinson Became America’s Most-Read Woman. The book comes out September 27, 2022. You can pre-order it here.  At 35, Elsie feared she’d lost it all. Reeling from a scandalous divorce in 1917, she had no means to support herself and Read More

The Grief Crisis Is Coming

For each person who dies of Covid-19, experts say there are at least nine newly bereaved. We must begin to address the toll. Continue Reading

my favorite poem

After my mother died, I found this typewritten poem stashed in a book that had belonged to her. Reading it, so deep in my grief, I felt equal blows of tough-love and compassion. My mother’s parenting style was steeped in that dichotomy: She loved me so fiercely, so unconditionally, she’d sooner let me fail than Read More

NY Times: Pandemic Grandparenting, Beyond the Dreary Video Calls

As a veteran television journalist, Sally-Ann Roberts knows how to tame an unsteady landscape and will it into submission. She survived 40 years reporting and anchoring the news for WWL-TV in New Orleans, covering 10 races for mayor and in 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a storm that submerged four-fifths of the city in water and left Read More

Bob Woodruff on how his near-death experience changed his life

In 2006, while in Iraq covering the U.S transfer of power to Iraqi security forces for ABC News, Bob Woodruff suffered a life-threatening brain injury. His armored vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. In that one moment, Bob’s life, and the lives of his wife and four children, were changed forever. He was transferred Read More

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