Brooklyn Bookbeat: Brooklyn author’s “Eighty Days” revives historic race around world
Brooklyn author Matthew Goodman has just released his latest novel, “Eighty Days: Nelly Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World,” in which he recreates the true story of two adventurous young female reporters who set out to travel the world in 1889. The author will appear at Park Slope’s Community Bookstore today, Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., to read from and discuss the book with author Christopher Stewart.
“Eighty Days” is a fascinating text; Goodman draws on years of extensive research to illuminate the little-known journey that Bly and Bisland embarked on in their quest to circumnavigate the globe in less than eighty days. More than just a journey, the event was a race between two ambitious female pioneers. In 1889, Nellie Bly was an eager and courageous reporter from Pennsylvania who was determined to uncover the juiciest of new stories, sometimes even going undercover in her efforts to reveal controversial news.
Elizabeth Bisland, who came from an aristocratic Southern family, was quite different in demeanor: she favored poetry over newspapers and was known for her beauty. Despite their dissimilar dispositions, both women were talented journalists who managed to succeed in what was then a male-dominated profession.
“Eighty Days” revives this captivating slice of history as Goodman enriches his tale with historical photographs and details surrounding the competitors and their encounters.