Join us for our brief annual Oakland Heritage Alliance Membership business meeting. Stay for a presentation by author Iris Jamahl Dunkle about Charmian Kittredge London.
6:30 - 7 PM OHA Annual Membership Meeting
7 - 8 PM Presentation by Iris Jamahl Dunkle
Charmian Kittredge London (1871–1955) was free-spirited, adventurous, and defied her era's expectations of femininity. She was a literary trailblazer in her own right. Iris Jamahl Dunkle's biography is the first to tell the complete story of Charmian’s life.
Orphaned at age fourteen, and raised by her aunt Netta Wiley Ames, a noted writer and editor, Charmian attended college, became an expert equestrian and concert pianist, and supported herself as a stenographer. But her life shifted when, in 1905, she married Jack London, already a bestselling author. For the rest of Jack’s life, until his untimely death at the age of forty, reporters would follow the couple’s every move. Charmian and Jack traveled the world, exploring and writing together.
In addition to collaborating with Jack on many of his projects, Charmian wrote three books about her travels, as well as countless articles. After Jack’s death in 1916, she remained a celebrity, continuing to travel and write—and seek adventure. She also wrote a biography about her late husband and managed his estate, influencing how Jack’s literary legacy was remembered. Charmian Kittredge London was ahead of her time, a modern woman, an author, and an adventurer whose accomplishments history had all but forgotten.
Iris Jamahl Dunkle is an award-winning literary biographer, essayist, and poet. In her biography Charmian Kittredge London Trailblazer, Author, Adventurer, Dunkle rewrites the previous narrative of Jack and Charmian London presented by fictional biographers. Dunkle believes that biography can challenge established ideas that have been fixed in history and through careful research resurrect the lives of those who have been misremembered.