The Red Leather Diary
Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal
By Lily Koppel
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061256783, 321pp.)
Publication Date: January 2009
List Price: $14.99*
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For more than half a century, the red leather diary languished inside a steamer trunk. Rescued from a Dumpster on Manhattan's Upper West Side, it found its way to Lily Koppel, a young writer, who opened its tarnished brass lock and journeyed into an enthralling past. The diary painted a breathtaking portrait of a bygone New York--of glamorous nights at El Morocco and elegant teas at Schrafft's during the 1920s and '30s--and of the headstrong, endearing teenager who filled its pages with her hopes, heartaches, and vivid recollections. Intrigued, Koppel followed her only clue, a frontispiece inscription, to its now ninety-year-old owner, Florence Wolfson, and was enchanted as Florence, reunited with her diary, rediscovered a lost younger self burning with artistic fervor.
Joining intimate interviews with original diary entries, The Red Leather Diary re-creates the romance and promise of a remarkable era and brings to life the true story of a daring, precocious young dreamer.