Kathleen Rooney: From Dust to Stardust (IN PERSON)
From the bestselling author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk comes a novel about Hollywood, the cost of stardom, and selfless second acts, inspired by an extraordinary true story. Kathleen Rooney presents her new novel From Dust to Stardust live at the American Writers Museum, followed by a book signing. Rooney is joined in conversation by writer and Northwestern University lecturer Ignatius Aloysius. Books will be available for purchase at the event. GET TICKETS HERE.
This is an in-person program at the American Writers Museum. This program will also be livestreamed, and you can register for the link to the online broadcast here.
More about From Dust to Stardust:
Chicago, 1916. Doreen O’Dare is fourteen years old when she hops a Hollywood-bound train with her beloved Irish grandmother. Within a decade, her trademark bob and insouciant charm make her the preeminent movie flapper of the Jazz Age. But her success story masks one of relentless ambition, tragedy, and the secrets of a dangerous marriage.
Her professional life in flux, Doreen trades one dream for another. She pours her wealth and creative energy into a singular achievement: the construction of a one-ton miniature Fairy Castle, the likes of which the world has never seen. So begins Doreen’s public tour to lift the nation’s spirits during the Great Depression―and a personal journey worth remembering.
A sweeping journey from the dawn of the motion picture era through turbulent twentieth-century America, From Dust to Stardust is a breathtaking novel about one determined woman navigating change, challenging the price of fame, and sharing the gift of real magic.
Praise for From Dust to Stardust:
“Kathleen Rooney takes us on a wild romp through the Jazz Age of Hollywood as she brings to life one of the most unforgettable icons of that era. In this vivid fictional retelling of the life of Colleen Moore―the original flapper of silent films―she reminds us that the line between fantasy and reality is gossamer and that even the strongest of women need their dreams.”
―Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Girls in the Picture
“If you love unexplored history; vibrant, strong women; and the glamour and grit of early Hollywood, you will adore this story. Full of magic and moxie, From Dust to Stardust is a Depression-era Cinderella story that leaves its mark.”
―Amy Harmon, New York Times bestselling author
“Whether you have visited Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago or not, you’ll be delighted to read the story behind its creation, as well as the story of its remarkable creator, embodied here in Kathleen Rooney’s novel based on Moore’s life and legacy.”
―Robert McDonald, The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL
KATHLEEN ROONEY is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, as well as a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a collective of poets and their vintage typewriters who compose poetry on demand. Her most recent books include the novels Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey. Her poetry collection Where Are the Snows won the 2021 X. J. Kennedy Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in fall of 2022. She is a winner of the Ruth Lilly Prize from Poetry magazine and the Adam Morgan Literary Citizen Award from the Chicago Review of Books, and her criticism appears in the New York Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Brooklyn Rail, Chicago magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and teaches English and creative writing at DePaul University.
Twice Pushcart nominated, IGNATIUS VALENTINE ALOYSIUS earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he won the Distinguished Thesis Award for fiction and is a lecturer in writing and experimentation there. A 2020-21 Creative Writing Fellow for the Ludington Writers Board and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts in Michigan, Ignatius is the author of the literary novel Fishhead. Republic of Want (Tortoise Books, 2020), and his prose and poetry have appeared in or are forthcoming in Cold Mountain Review, Olney Magazine, Thanatos Review, Roi Fainéant Press, Trampset, Tofu Ink Arts Press, and the Coalition for Digital Narratives, among other venues. He is a host and curator of the long-running reading series Sunday Salon Chicago, and he serves on the curatorial and diversity boards at Ragdale Foundation, an arts residency in Lake Forest, Illinois. Ignatius lives in Evanston and is a mayor-appointed board member of the Evanston Arts Council.