Press contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

February 25, 2009

Tragic Story of Actress of 1920s-1930s, As Told By Her Granddaughter, is Subject of Book Discussion

Author Bibi Gaston on "The Loveliest Woman in America”

Rosamond Pinchot was dubbed "the loveliest woman in America" at 23, yet 10 years later she was dead by her own hand. An acclaimed actress, socialite and sportswoman, she was the toast of Broadway and Hollywood during the 1920s and 1930s.

Bibi Gaston, who took a remarkable journey to discover the truth about her forgotten grandmother, will discuss and sign "The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries and Her Granddaughter’s Search for Home" in a Books & Beyond program on Tuesday, March 17, at noon, in the Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The event, sponsored by the Center for the Book and the Manuscript Division, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Shortly after the death of her father in 2001, Gaston received a cardboard box filled with more than 1,500 pages of her grandmother’s diary. Thus began Gaston’s quest to tell the story of Pinchot and the tumultuous account of her life.

Not until Gaston began to read the diaries did she realize just whom Rosamond Pinchot was and what she might have meant to her family had she lived. "In hundreds of images, her look was timeless," Gaston writes. "They show her in silhouette against the Manhattan skyline, under Hollywood’s fabulous houses of skylights, fishing in the streams of Pennsylvania and walking her dog on the Upper East Side as though it was yesterday. Not only was she a celebrity, she was also a remarkable sportswoman and equestrian. She had dined with the likes of Dorothy Parker, Sinclair Lewis and George Gershwin. So why had no one in my family ever talked about her or shared even a single detail of her life? Rosamond seemed to have slipped off the edge of the world. There are thousands of ways of vanishing; a family’s silence is one of them."

"The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries and Her Granddaughter’s Search for Home" (William Morrow; $24.95) will be available for sale and signing following Gaston’s discussion.

The Center for the Book was created in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its programs, publications and national reading-promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook/.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web site www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.

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PR 09-038
02/25/09
ISSN 0731-3527

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