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Powell's Books Presents Ann Leary in Conversation With Lee Woodruff
From Ann Leary, author of The Good House, comes the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution — one as an employee; the other, an inmate. It’s 1927 and 18-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer — brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel. Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist, she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age 40, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care. Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all. Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling (Scribner/Marysue Rucci Books) offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. Leary will be joined in conversation by Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant.

May 31, 2022 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Ann Leary
Ann Leary is the New York Times bestselling author of a memoir and four novels including The Good House. Her work has been translated into eighteen languages, and she has written for the New York Times, Ploughshares, National Public Radio, Redbook, and Real Simple, among other publications. Her essay, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” was adapted for the Amazon Modern Love television series. She lives with her husband in New York.
Lee Woodruff
As co-author of the best-selling In an Instant, Lee Woodruff garnered critical acclaim for the compelling and humorous chronicle of her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq. Appearing together on national media since the February 2007 publication of their book, the couple founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist wounded service members and their families. To date, they have raised more than $80 million to help veterans successfully reintegrate into their communities and receive care. Woodruff has been a contributing reporter for “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.” Her best-selling book “Perfectly Imperfect – A Life in Progress,” was followed by her first novel “Those We Love Most.” A freelance writer and print journalist, Woodruff has penned numerous articles, including features and essays about her family, parenting and caregiving. She currently runs a media/speaker training business.