The Ziegfeld Follies, Florenz Ziegfeld's stage spectaculars, promised the best performers, the most lavish sets, and the most ravishing girls. Doris Eaton Travis was one of these prized beauties and, at 14, was chosen as the youngest chorus girl in the Follies. "Mine eyes are yet dim with the luminous beauty of a girl named Doris," one Chicago reviewer wrote.
Doris Eaton Travis was the last living Ziegfeld girl. In her 106 years, she performed for presidents and princesses, entertained Gershwin, Lindbergh, and Astaire, starred in silent and talking pictures, bantered with Babe Ruth, offended Henry Ford, outlived six siblings, written a newspaper column, hosted a television show, earned a Phi Beta Kappa degree in history, raised turkeys, and raced horses. In 2010, she performed on Broadway, returned home to Detroit and two weeks later peacefully passed away. Century Girl is a visual tour of this extraordinary woman's journey through life.
About the Author
Lauren Redniss is the author of Century Girl: 100 years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies and Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for non fiction. Her writing and drawing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, which nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize. She was a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers at the New York Public Library in 2008-2009 and became a New York Institute for the Humanities fellow in 2010. Beginning in 2012, she will be artist-in-residence at the American Museum of Natural History. She teaches at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.
“Striking and unique. . . captivating readers by twining simple, evocative text with a stunning array of images.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“With Century Girl, Lauren Redniss creates an entirely new genre of biography.”
“Lauren Redniss takes a graphically provocative approach in telling [Doris Eaton Travis’s] story.”
“My favorite new book this year. . . a visually dazzling melange. . . unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”
-Slate (best books of 2006 pick)
“Not only did Doris Eaton Travis break records for accomplishment and humanity, she also had great hair and shoes.”
“The opposite of a page-turner: it’s a page-stopper, a page-savorer, in short: an unmitigated delight.”
-Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder and Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences
“Doris Eaton is the darling of Broadway, a New York treasure.”
-Nils Hanson, National Ziegfeld Club
“I wish Lauren Redniss would write and illustrate my biography in the dreamy, luminous way she did Doris Eaton Travis’s.”
-Maira Kalman, author and illustrator