Our November Speaker: Sylvia Jukes Morris

Sylvia Jukes Morris The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes author Sylvia Jukes Morris and writer Joseph Montebello in a conversation at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, November 3, beginning at 2:30pm.

Sylvia Jukes Morris was born and educated in England, where she taught English literature before emigrating to America. She has not only written the two-volume life of Clare Boothe Luce, but also “Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady.” She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut, with her husband, the writer Edmund Morris.

The beautiful, smart, ambitious and often tormented Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) chose Sylvia Jukes Morris to be her biographer, giving her copious interviews and unprecedented access to her letters, diaries, unpublished writings, scrapbooks, and photographs. “Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce” is Morris’s critically acclaimed follow-up to “Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce,” completing the story of an exceptionally brilliant polymath.

The book chronicles Luce’s progress from the early months of World War II, when, as a Congresswoman and only female member of the House Military Affairs Committee, she toured the Western Front, captivating generals and GIs. She even visited Buchenwald and other concentration camps within days of their liberation. After a shattering personal tragedy, she converted to Roman Catholicism, and became the first American woman to be appointed ambassador to a major foreign power. “La Luce,” as the Italians called her, was also a prolific journalist and magnetic public speaker, as well as a playwright, screenwriter, scuba diver, early experimenter in psychedelic drugs, and Grande Dame of the GOP in the Reagan era. Tempestuously married to Henry Luce, the powerful publisher of Time Inc., she endured his infidelities while pursuing her own, and remained a practiced vamp well into old age.

Fran Keilty, owner of The Hickory Stick, will be offering the book for sale following the presentation. The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our October Speaker: David Leite

david-leite-photo-10-6-16

The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes food writer David Leite to speak about his heritage and the delights of Portuguese cuisine at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, October 6, beginning at 2:30pm.

David Leite is a food writer, author, memoirist, and web publisher. He founded Leite’s Culinaria in 1999 and in 2006, he had the distinction of being the first winner ever of a James Beard Award for a website, a feat he repeated in 2007.

He has written about everything from chocolate chip cookies to fried clams, from the foods of Portugal to tribulations of being a super taster—for print, radio, and television. His first book, “The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast,” explored the food of his heritage and won the 2010 IACP First Book/Julia Child Award. He’s also written for the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Men’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, among others.

David is also a correspondent on public radio’s The Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. He has been a frequent guest and host on Martha Stewart Living Radio programs, including “Cooking Today,” as well as a guest on Lucinda Scala Quinn’s program, “Mad Hungry Monday.” He’s been heard on NPR’s “All Thing Considered” and has appeared on History Channel 2’s “United Stuff of America,” Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” The Today Show, “Radical Sabbatical,” and is a regular guest on WTNH-TV.

David won the 2008 James Beard Award for Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes for his article “In a ’64 T-Bird, Chasing a Date with a Clam” and was nominated for the same award the following year for his article “Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret,” both from The New York Times. He was a 2006 winner of the Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism. In 2014, he was nominated for both Best Blog and Best Podcast Series by the IACP. His work has appeared in the Best Food Writing series a total of 14 times, from 2001 to 2015, a record.

Currently, David’s at work on his memoir “Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression” to be published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. He will bring food samples of olive dip with bread and orange olive oil cake. Fran Keilty, owner of the Hickory Stick, will be offering his books for sale following his presentation.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our May Speaker: Sigrid MacRae

Sigrid MacRae photo May 2016

The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes Sigrid MacRae to speak about her book “A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany” beginning at 2:30pm on Thursday, May 5, at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield.

Sigrid MacRae was born in Germany, her father a Baltic German aristocrat exiled from St. Petersburg by the Russian revolution and her mother an orphaned American debutante from Hartford he had met in Paris. This unusual alliance that shaped their children’s lives was chronicled by his sixth child in a remarkable and touching book.

MacRae’s father was killed on the Russian Front four months before she was born. Her mother, an American citizen, was left with six children in a country soon at war with her own. She survived the war and eventually returned to the U.S. with her children. MacRae was educated in America and in Europe, and spent much of her professional life as an editor. She is also co-author of “Alliance of Enemies; The Untold Story of the Secret American and German Collaboration to End World War II” and is now at work on another book.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a reception.  For more information, call 860-605-7207 or email womensforumoflitchfield.org.