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Credit: Delightful Eye Photography

Credit: Delightful Eye Photography

Credit: Terrance McNally

Credit: Terrance McNally

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Long Bio

Amy Stewart is the New York Times best-selling author of ten books, including Girl Waits with Gun and the rest of the Kopp Sisters series, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters. The books are in development with Amazon Studios for a television series.

It’s an honor just to be nominated, but it’s even better to win, and she’s won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award. In 2012, she was invited to be the first Tin House Writer-in-Residence, a partnership with Portland State University, where she corrupted young minds in the MFA program.

She lives in Portland with her husband Scott Brown, a rare book dealer. They own an independent bookstore called Eureka Books, which is so independent that it lives in California while they live in Oregon.

The Story Behind the Kopp Sisters Series

Amy Stewart's Kopp Sisters novels tell the story of one of America's first female deputy sheriffs, Constance Kopp. By fictionalizing her real life, and exploring the cases she actually worked on, the novels collectively tell the story of a pioneering woman in law enforcement. The first four in the series, set in Hackensack, NJ in the 1910s, have sent Constance on a manhunt to catch an escaped fugitive, viewed the inside of a girls' reformatory and an insane asylum, and examined a type of early probation system designed to keep so-called "wayward" girls out of jail and on the right track. Future installments will continue to follow Constance and her sisters as all three of them continued, in real life, to work in crime-fighting and detective work in different ways through the 1920s.

Stewart stumbled across a 1914 newspaper article about the Kopps and went on to uncover their amazing history through genealogical archives, court records, old newspapers, and interviews with family members. In her lively and engaging talk about her research and her journey through this forgotten history, Stewart shares photographs and stories about these extraordinary women and the fascinating historical background that shaped their world a hundred years ago.

Fresh Air's book critic Maureen Corrigan said that Stewart takes readers "on a lively chase through a lost world. It’s a colorful and inventive adventure tale that also contains a serious message at its core about the importance of meaningful work to women’s identities and, in some cases, survival."