Marie Benedict

THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM - Now a NYT Bestseller!

Congrats, Marie Benedict! The Only Woman in the Room, released on Tuesday, is a NYT Bestseller! In this gorgeous novel, Hedy Lamarr flees to Hollywood where she becomes a screen start and develops technology that might combat the Nazis… it’s historical fiction that’s perfect for One Book, One Community Reads - get in touch with us today to schedule an event with Marie!

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Barnes & Noble Selects THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM as the January 2019 National Book Club Selection!

Courtesy of the Associated Press
Posted January 8, 2019

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Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, announced The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict as the January 2019 selection for the Barnes & Noble Book Club, a national book club designed to bring readers in communities across the country together to discuss some of the most compelling books being published. Due to its overwhelming popularity with customers, the Company also announced that the Barnes & Noble Book Club will now be held monthly at all stores nationwide. It was previously held on a quarterly basis.

For this month’s pick, Barnes & Noble will be selling a special Exclusive Book Club Edition of The Only Woman in the Room. A free Book Club night for customers to discuss the novel will be held on Tuesday, February 5, at 7 PM local time. Customers can buy the book and sign up for the Book Club in their local store or online at BN.com.

Filled with unforgettable characters and storytelling that readers will want to discuss with other readers, The Only Woman in the Room is the exhilarating story of a woman who could change the course of World War II. Hedy Lamarr was best known as an actress, but she was also a noted inventor, and this evocative historical novel tells the story of her escape from Nazi Germany to her success in Hollywood, as well as the radio guidance system she developed for torpedoes.

The Only Woman in the Room is exactly the type of page-turning, but also thoughtful novel that book lovers will enjoy reading as well as discussing,” said Liz Harwell, Senior Director of Merchandising, Trade Books at Barnes & Noble. “Customers have loved discussing our picks so much that the Barnes & Noble Book Club will now be held monthly. We’re looking forward to many more compelling and timely books to bring readers together in our stores throughout 2019.”

The Barnes & Noble Book Club Exclusive Edition of The Only Woman in the Room comes with a Q&A with the author and a Reading Group Guide for discussion. Customers can buy the book now on BN.com, or at their local Barnes & Noble.

THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM Named Among BUSTLE and MARIE CLAIRE's Best Books of 2019!

Courtesy of Marie Claire and Bustle
Posted Dec 25, 2018

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If you feel like hibernating for the month of January, waiting out the cold and storing up your energy for the beginning of the the 2020 presidential season, your instincts couldn't be better served. From the first week of January onwards, a fresh new slate of women's fiction—a genre that covers a lot of ground, but one I consider to be books that star strong, multifaceted female characters, written by women—will come out, and, trust me, you'll have more than enough reading material to last you through the winter.

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Maybe you've never heard of Hedy Lamarr, the real-life Nazi-era actress and scientist, but after reading Marie Benedict's fictionalized account of Lamarr's life, you won't be able to stop thinking about her. Lamarr was a screen siren, the heir to a massive fortune, and the co-inventor of technology we still use in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth today. When she invented the technology, the U.S. Navy wasn't receptive to using it—even though it could have helped fight the Nazis—and it wasn't until the '60s that her invention was taken seriously. A lawyer by trade, Benedict writes about Lamarr's life with a biographer's precision.

Out on January 8, 2019!!

Marie Benedict Named to Library Reads Hall of Fame!

Courtesy of LibraryReads
Posted Dec 19, 2018

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The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly list since 2013. As of the October 2018 list, when an author’s third title places on a monthly list via library staff votes, the author moves into our Hall of Fame.

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This month, Marie Benedict’s forthcoming novel The Only Woman in the Room was selected, thus initiating her into the Hall of Fame. “A fascinating look at a famous movie star with an unexpected past: Hedy Lamarr, the Austria-born screen siren who was also a brilliant inventor. Brisk pacing and atmospheric scenes of pre-World War II Europe round out this intriguing work of historical fiction.” –Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL

Previous titles on the LibraryReads list:
The Other Einstein: A Novel (LibraryReads October 2016)
Carnegie’s Maid: A Novel (LibraryReads January 2018)



A|U Monthly Muse - December 2018 (Historical Inspirations)

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December 2018: Historical Inspirations

Looking for the perfect book to gift your friends and family this holiday season? Historical fiction is a genre that draws in nearly everyone, and novels based on real events and historical figures are even more likely to compel those on your list this year. These armchair historians and literary archeologists take inspiration from the past, sparking beautiful narratives that not only entertain, but enlighten. Happy Holidays!

Enter the Wild World of Actress Hedy Lamarr

Courtesy of BookTrib
Posted October 24, 2018

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An actress, inventor, and keeper of secrets, the beautiful Hedy Lamarr was among many Jews who fled Europe during the 1930s and came to Hollywood to start a new life.  Born in Vienna in 1914, she studied acting with the innovative theater director, Max Reinhardt.  But she made the mistake of appearing nude in Ecstasy, a 1933 silent Czech film, and never quite shed the sex goddess stereotype.  When Hedy died in 2000, The New York Times noted that her life had been “messy and sad.”

In her newest novel, The Only Woman in the Room (Sourcebooks Landmark, Jan 2019), Marie Benedict tells a vibrant, nuanced story about the ambitious actress. The only daughter of assimilated Jews, Hedy made a bargain with the devil by marrying an Austrian arms dealer named Fritz Mandl who would, she believed, protect her from the Nazis.  But he turned out to be a brutal man and a fascist who encouraged Hitler to launch the Anschluss in 1938.

By that time, however, Hedy had fled to London where she contrived a meeting with the powerful movie producer, Louis B. Mayer.  From there she proceeded to California and five more husbands and several children, and starred in films with Robert Taylor, Clark Gable, Victor Mature, and Spencer Tracy.

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Hedy’s thrilling escape from Fritz might seem like the climax of the story.  But when the U.S. enters the war and the Holocaust comes to dominate the news, Hedy feels anguished guilt about not sharing crucial military information that she overheard at Mandl’s dinner table back in Vienna. It is here that Benedict portrays the actress at her very best, as a co-inventor of spread-spectrum technology, which would, Hedy proposed, enable the Navy to manipulate radio frequencies and thus prevent the jamming of codes.  Readers will be fascinated by Hedy’s mastery of scientific theories as well as her ingenuity and persistence, as Benedict winds up with the glamorous actress once again upon a stage before a rapt audience.

Read the Q&A with Marie, who provides more insights into her work!