Author Talk: Janis Robinson Daly: "The Unlocked Path" In-Person / Online
Join us for this presentation by Massachusetts-based author Janis Robinson Daly, as she discusses her new novel, The Unlocked Path, and how her own genealogy research inspired her to write it.
Meet a New Woman of the early 20th century: educated, career minded, independent Eliza Pearson Edwards. In 1897 Philadelphia, after witnessing her aunt's suicide, Eliza rejects her mother’s wishes for a society debut, and at a time when five percent of doctors are female, she enters a woman’s medical college. With the support of a circle of women and driven by a determination to conquer curriculum demands, battle sexism, and overcome doubts, Eliza charts her new life path.
Organic Chemistry may slay her, if the strain of endless study, odoriferous labs, and gruesome surgeries don’t claim her first. As a young intern, she summons a forthright
confidence asserting her abilities to those mistrustful of a woman doctor. Through her work with poverty stricken patients, she defines her version of suffrage work to champion women’s rights for and beyond the right to vote. Love is found, love is lost. When global events devolve into chaos with the 1918 influenza pandemic and a world war, Eliza renews her vow to combine science and sympathy, triumphing to help and heal herself and others.
After a career in sales and marketing and raising two boys active in sports, right through the college level, Janis Robinson Daly asked the age-old question, Now what? She didn’t spend long looking for my answer. She found it within the return hits from a genealogy search on her great-great-grandfather, William S. Peirce, Esquire. From FamousAmericans.net: He took an active part in founding the Woman’s Medical College in Philadelphia.
Inspired by that line, more research ensued, and a story and characters formed. The early graduates of the Woman’s Medical College have remained in the shadows. Their stories needed to be told. With a love of history, she balanced a need for authenticity and details with a flair to create emotional connections to fictional characters.
While her family has roots in Philadelphia, she is a Boston girl through and through, from her accent to the cans of baked beans in her pantry, to the New England Patriots flag that hangs over their driveway every fall. She grew up outside of Boston and remained in Massachusetts, graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College, at the time, an all-women’s college. At Wheaton, she developed a fond appreciation of the supportive relationships established between students, faculty, and alumnae and a heightened awareness of female-centric issues. Both directed her writing of The Unlocked Path.
With a plot and themes sketched, she enrolled in a creative writing course sponsored by Wesleyan University to hone her skills. Combining years of extensive research and feedback from writers’ conferences and a series of beta readers, she polished her manuscript and readied it for publication with Black Rose Writing.
Splitting her time between Cape Cod, New Hampshire, Florida and hotels along Route 95, a tablet became her Kindle library and desk, packed into a travel bag for reading and writing wherever she might land. Her husband, along with their rescue pup, has willingly, and luckily, also embraced this nomadic lifestyle. More adventures beckon her to document other women in history whose stories need to be discovered.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
This event is free and open to the public. The program will also be livestreamed on Zoom for those unable to attend in person. Registration is required.