The New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Exiles conjures her best novel yet, a pre-World War II-era story with the emotional resonance of Orphan Train and All the Light We Cannot See, centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe—and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.

Travels from: California

Meg Waite Clayton

Book club favorite and New York Times and USA Today bestseller Meg Waite Clayton is the author of seven novels, most recently the forthcoming The Last Train to London (Harper, Nov 2019), which explores the Kindertransport effort to rescue children from Nazi Germany, and Truus Wijsmuller, who saved 10,000 children. Her prior books include: Beautiful Exiles, a biographical novel about the stormy relationship between Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway; the Langum Prize honored The Race for Paris, about women journalists in WWII; The Wednesday Sisters, named one of Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Essential Best Friend Novels of all time (on a list with The Three Musketeers!); and The Language of Light, a finalist for the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction (now the PEN/Bellwether). She has written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Runner’s World and public radio, often on the subject of the particular challenges women face. Meg is a graduate of the University of Michigan and its law school. A member of the National Book Critic’s Circle, she writes a monthly audiobook review for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Meg was born in Washington D.C., and has since lived in Kansas City, the Chicago area (Wheeling, Palatine, Northbrook), Los Angeles (West Hollywood, Santa Monica), Ann Arbor, Nashville, Baltimore, Santa Barbara and Palo Alto. She loves to travel, so her books tend to be set in places she finds fascinating: France for The Race for Paris, the English Lakes for The Wednesday Daughters, Ann Arbor and the Chesapeake for The Four Ms. Bradwells, Silicon Valley for The Wednesday Sisters, and the horse country of Maryland for The Language of Light. For Beautiful Exiles the list is very long but includes the U.S. Key West, Sun Valley, New York, and St. Louis, as well as Cuba, Spain, China, France, England, Czechoslovakia, and Sweden, and for The Last Train to London, Vienna, Amsterdam, and London. 

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Talks and Topics

  • Saving the Children: a Multi-Media Presentation Exploring the Kindertransport Effort to Rescue Children from Nazi Germany, and Truss Wijmuller, Who Saved 10,000 Children (Multi-Media Presentation - The Last Train to London)

  • Women Journalists of World War II: Clearing the Path for the Future of Women (Multi-Media Presentation - The Race for Paris)

  • Writers. Muses. Rivals. Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway (Multi-Media Presentation - Beautiful Exiles)

  • Courting Women: The Progress of Women on the Supreme Court and in the Law (Multi-Media Presentation - The Four Ms. Bradwells)

  • Stealth Feminism: Eight Little Ways to Make a Big Difference (Multi-Media Presentation - The Wednesday Sisters)

  • Mining the Past: How to Write Great Historical Fiction

  • Getting a Publisher to Yes: Rewrite, Rinse, Repeat

  • Fifty Ways to Find the Right Agent

Clayton’s gripping tale was inspired by the women writers and photographers who broke through bureaucratic and gender barriers to report from the front lines.... There’s danger, secrets, and romance in the story, along with the underlying deep need of Jane, Liv, and Fletcher, to portray the truth about the war.
— Historical Novel Reviews, Editor's Choice
THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON is painful and beautiful, absorbing and unforgettable. A wonderful tribute to courage, to a remarkable woman, to the ones she saved, and the ones she could not. Recommend this book to anyone who thinks no single person can make a difference...
— Karen Joy Fowler, PEN/Faulkner winner and Booker Prize finalist

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