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Virtual Author Talk with Fiona Davis | The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Please join us for a Virtual Author Talk with Fiona Davis! She will be discussing her New York Times bestseller The Lions of Fifth Avenue, as well as Stories from Suffragette City, which she was a co-editor on. Discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

Registration is required for this event. Please register by Tuesday, March 23rd. You will receive a Zoom invitation the morning of the program.

For questions, please contact Amanda at

About the book:

"2020 marks the 125th anniversary of the New York Public Library. Since its founding, the library has been a vital part of the intellectual and cultural fabric of American life. This literary mecca is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks— including its two iconic lion statues Patience and Fortitude who stand guard outside—so it is with little surprise that historical novelist, national bestseller, and library darling Fiona Davis has chosen to set her upcoming novel THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE (Dutton; August 4, 2020; hardcover), within its walls.


In THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE, Davis weaves an intricate and thrilling story of female empowerment, intrigue, family, and sacrifice set against the backdrop of the legendary institution as a series of book thefts connect two strong-willed women living eighty years apart.


The novel alternates between the perspectives of Laura Lyons, wife of the library’s superintendent in 1913, and Sadie Donovan, a curator at the New York Public Library in 1993. The women are connected by the library, but also by blood. Laura was Sadie’s estranged grandmother and a famous essayist. Sadie struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, whom she knows very little about, as her own mother seldom spoke of her. But when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie has been curating go missing from the library’s famous Berg Collection, unwelcome truths about her family heritage are uncovered—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.


Davis became interested in setting a novel at the New York Public Library after learning of the existence of a seven-room apartment nested deep inside the building, where the superintendent lived with his family for thirty years. Through her fictional character Laura, Davis illuminates the struggle for women who aspired to be more than society wanted for them. Unhappy with life as a homemaker, Laura jumps at the chance to attend Columbia Journalism School, where her world is cracked wide open. Through her journey, Davis offers a glimpse into bohemian New York City at that time and introduces readers to the trailblazing women who fought for women’s rights, including birth control and suffrage, and who lived freely and independently in an age when that was not accepted.


There is perhaps no historical novelist better suited to reimagine a piece of the library’s history and pay homage to its legacy through a female lens than Fiona Davis."



About the Author:

Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of historical novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including The Chelsea Girls and The Address. She began her career in New York City as an actress, working on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down to write fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and she’s based in New York City.

We've partnered with Savoy for this event. Books purchased here will come with a signed bookplate by the author! Please mention the Westerly Library if you're going directly into the store to purchase a copy!

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