Toastrons in the Bay Area and surrounding environs! What are you doing tonight? Do you want to come to the Booksmith in San Francisco at 7:30 and listen to The Toast’s own Alexis Coe and self discuss lesbian murderesses?
Of course you do. [Miranda Priestly voice] Everyone wants that.
In 1892, America was obsessed with a teenage murderess, but it wasn’t her crime that shocked the nation – it was her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell planned to pass as a man and marry seventeen-year-old Freda Ward, but when their love letters were discovered, they were forbidden to ever speak again. Desperate and isolated, Alice pilfered her father’s razor, and on a cold winter’s day, she slashed her ex-fiancée’s throat. ALICE + FREDA FOREVER is a tragic love story with more than a hundred original illustrations of primary source letters, maps, historical documents, and more. It marks a seminal point in the history of same-sex relationships in the U.S., and is not to be missed.
This book is so bonkers, you guys. I read it in one afternoon and then I yelled at Alexis for a solid hour about it. (My stance? I don’t think you should slit anyone’s throat, no matter how gay you are. But I still wanted them to end up together! Which is…that’s not how things turned out. But I am a relentless optimist; right up until Alice killed Freda I was still hoping things would work out between them. Or at least that they lived in a world where instead of attempted-murder-suicides, they could just have broken up and gone to college and found new girlfriends.)
Come see us tonight! We’ll have fun! Don’t kill anyone, ever!
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.