Kathleen George, a native of Johnstown, is a noted author and a professor of theater arts and creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of The Johnstown Girls, a novel about the famous Johnstown flood. She has also written seven mysteries set in Pittsburgh: A Measure of Blood, Simple, The Odds (which was nominated for the Edgar® Award from the Mystery Writers of America), Hideout, Afterimage, Fallen, and Taken. George is also the author of the short story collection The Man in the Buick and editor of another collection, Pittsburgh Noir.
George returns to her hometown for this presentation and book signing of her latest book, The Blues Walked In, which explores the Pittsburgh roots of the noted African-American singer Lena Horne. The novel begins in 1936, where life on the road for 19-year-old Lena Horne meant sleeping on the bus or in hotels for blacks only. After a tour with Nobel Sissel’s orchestra, Lena is walking the last few blocks to her father’s hotel in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. She stops at a lemonade stand and meets a Lebanese American girl, Marie David. Marie loves movies and adores Lena. Their chance meeting sparks a relationship that intertwines their lives forever. “Lena in George’s The Blues Walked In is just as strong and relentless as she was in reality. Her story is as intimate as it is inspiring,” said Foreword Reviews. The event is free; books will be offered for sale.