The Personal Librarian (Digital Audiobook)
Publication Date: June 28, 2021
July 2021 Indie Next List
— Elizabeth Barnhill, Fabled Bookshop & Café, Waco, TX
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“Historical fiction at its best!”*
A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.
But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.
The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.
About the Author
Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms. She is a graduate of Boston College with a focus on history and art history and a graduate of Boston University School of Law. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Lady Clementine, The Only Woman in the Room, Carnegie's Maid, and The Other Einstein.
Victoria Christopher Murray is one of the country's top African American contemporary authors with more than one million books in print. She has written more than twenty novels, including the Seven Deadly Sins series and Stand Your Ground, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.