New Book Talk launches with Debby Applegate’s bio of a Jazz Age brothel owner

  • Vintage black and white image of two policemen holding open the doors of prisoner transport vehicle while a woman in a light print dress  and dark beret steps out
    Polly Adler
February 15, 2022

Yale University Library will launch Yale Library Book Talk, a new series of author events, on Wednesday, March 2, at 4:30 pm with an online talk by historian and Pulitzer Prize winner Debby Applegate, whose newest book is Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age (Doubleday, Nov. 2021). Described by the New York times as “a breathless tale told through extraordinary research,” Madam brings alive a Russian tailor’s daughter who became the most well-known New York brothel owner of the Roaring ’20s and played hostess to everyone from gangsters and politicians to Dorothy Parker and other members of the famed Algonquin Round Table. Applegate, a New Haven resident, will offer an inside look at the 12-year research and writing process that began when she “met” her subject while browsing in Sterling Memorial Library’s seven-story stack tower. Register for Book Talk with Debby Applegate, free and open to all. 

Yale Library Book Talk will be  held on the first Wednesday of the month September through May, excluding December, and will focus on revealing the research and writing process of Yale faculty other authors who have worked with Yale Library collections. The series will continue on Wednesday, April 6, at 4:30 pm with a talk by Daphne Brooks, author of Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Harvard University, February 2021). Brooks is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale. Register for Book Talk with Daphne Brooks, free and open to all. 

For information about Yale Library Book Talk or to propose a speaker, contact Anna Arays, librarian for Slavic and East European Studies.