Award-winning writer and author of The Secrets of Mary Bowser, Lois Levenn will discuss women, race, and the Civil War, in response to the original Civil War drawings from the Becker Collection on view at the Cooley Gallery. The collection contains over six hundred previously unexhibited and undocumented drawings by American artist Joseph Becker and his colleagues – nineteenth-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper during the Civil War.
A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, Leveen's work has appeared in African American Writers, African American Review, The New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and on NPR. The Secrets of Mary Bowser, her novel based on the true story of a former slave who became a Union spy in the Confederate White House, is a Target Book Club pick, bringing detailed research about African American history to popular audiences. Lois gives talks about writing, history, and the meaning of race in American culture at universities, museums, and libraries around the country.