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Listen, World! is the first biography of Elsie Robinson (1883-1956), once the highest paid nationally syndicated female columnist at Hearst, a writer who gave a voice to a generation of women and launched a movement that decades later included Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and Dorothy Pitman Hughes. She was a fist-pumping iconoclast who helped create the modern American woman we know today.

This biography will reveal Robinson’s harrowing yet ultimately triumphant rise to fame, as she lost her only son and worked as a gold miner in California before finding her calling as a writer.

SEEKING INFORMATION: If you knew Robinson from her “Aunt Elsie” children’s page at The Oakland Tribune (1918-1924), during her 30-year run writing her “Listen, World!” column for Hearst (1924-1956), have photographs or stories to share, please get in touch. My email is allison at allison gilbert dot com and my phone number is 917-783-6193.

Forthcoming with co-author Julia Scheeres from Basic Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.

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

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

2020 Gift List for Grievers

Facing the holidays without your loved one is hard. Covid-19 makes it harder. Our inability to gather with friends and family, to receive hugs and kisses, is leaving too many of us feeling unmoored and alone.  So, here’s what I’ve done: I’ve created a holiday gift list for grievers and those who love them. What 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

Interested in the latest from Allison?

Praise for Allison’s Speaking & Workshops

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for leading such an important program. Our members learned so much from you, and feel stronger from having listened to your warm and insightful talk. Let us know when you’d like to come back. Please consider our red door always open.”

– Migdalia Torres, Executive Director of Program and Satellite Expansion, Gilda’s Club New York City

I attend and oversee dozens of events for women in corporate America every year, and I find Allison an unusually warm, informative, and funny speaker. She brilliantly applies her own hard-won lessons and insights to the business and professional issues that others face. Our members loved her!”

– Betty Spence, Ph.D., President, National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)

What a fabulous evening! The room was packed. The crowd was happy. Everyone walked away thrilled they made the time to come. Let’s do it again soon.”

– Susan Engel, Director, Lectures, 92nd Street Y