Jennifer Chiaverini, AM’92, published Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, a Civil War-era historical novel that details the life of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who became Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal seamstress. In a New York Times article on Keckley, Chiaverini says that the inspiration to write about Keckley’s life came from research for earlier Civil War-era books, which often relied on Keckley. According to the article, after reading Keckley’s controversial memoir, Chiaverini had the idea to write a novel based on “day-to-day moments between the seamstress and the first lady.”
Chiaverini is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series.
More alumni-penned books can be found on the University of Chicago Magazine Goodreads page.