AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team
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Fast Girls: Elise Hooper > Elise Hooper Discusses Fast Girls

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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess Woods | 109 comments Mod
Good morning! I’m Elise Hooper, the author of FAST GIRLS. This novel was inspired by three real-life trailblazing women track stars of the 1930s: Betty Robinson, Louise Stokes, and Helen Stephens. In FAST GIRLS, these three athletes overcome overwhelming obstacles—a plane crash, discrimination, economic hardship, and more—to compete in Hitler’s 1936 Olympics in Berlin and show the world what women are capable of accomplishing. Even if you’re not an athlete or sports fan, the world of athletics can provide a powerful mirror of what’s happening in society, and women’s track and field of the 1930s provides a fascinating look at sexism, racism, LGBTQ+ issues and more.
I’ve always been an athlete and Olympics superfan so writing FAST GIRLS was right in my wheelhouse. The idea for the book came to me a few years ago when my younger daughter was in elementary school and she picked Gertrude Ederle for a school biography project. Ederle won three Olympic medals in the Paris Games of 1924 and then went on to become the first woman to swim the English Channel. Learning about Ederle made me wonder about other trailblazing women Olympians so I started digging around and found the amazing stories of these women from the 1936 Olympics.

I was very excited for this novel to come out at the same time as Tokyo 2020, but clearly the world had different plans so now I’ve very hopeful the Olympics happen next summer. Who else missed the Olympics this summer? What’s your favorite event? Do you have a favorite Olympian?


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (drpowell) | 376 comments Me! Favorite event is hard, though maybe synchronized swimming. Favorite athlete? Kristi Yamaguchi was probably my childhood favorite.


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