The Biograph Girl: A Novel of Hollywood Then and Now William J. Mann Author
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Award-winning author William J. Mann blends fact and fiction in this unconventional novel about the nature of celebrity The Biograph Girl is Florence Lawrence, who gets her first big break in vaudeville as a tiny tot who can whistle like a man. By 1910 she’s a legendary movie star, pursued by thousands of rabid fans. Just a few short decades later, she’s all but forgotten, reduced to walk-ons at MGM. In 1938 she kills herself by ingesting a lethal dose of ant paste. Fast-forward fifty-nine years. A 107-year-old woman named Flo Bridgewood is discovered in a Catholic nursing home in Buffalo. Could the feisty chain smoker with the red satin bow in her hair be America’s former sweetheart? Florence Lawrence is dead . . . isn’t she? And if not, then whose body is in her grave? That’s what journalist Richard Sheehan wants to find out as he and his identical twin brother, Ben, a documentary filmmaker, decide to cash in on a decades-old mystery. Sharing the stage is Flo herself, whose story is the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. A provocative melding of fact and fiction, The Biograph Girl is about what it means to be a celebrity—then and now.


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