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The Chelsea Girls

The Chelsea Girls

Author(s): Fiona Davis

Location(s): Manhattan

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Mid 20th Century

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home – something playwright Hazel Riley and actress Magnolia Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in entertainment frequently being blacklisted from the industry due to unsubstantiated accusations. With the pressure building to name names, it is more than Hazel and Magnolia’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom as well. Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, Fiona Davis deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.

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