For nearly 50 years, Josephine Marcus Earp was the common-law wife of Wyatt Earp, the hero of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the most famous lawman of the Old West. Yet she has nearly been erased from Western lore.
Now biographer Ann Kirschner explores the life of this Jewish frontier femme in a discussion of her book Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
A remarkable Western woman, Josephine Earp is a real-life counterpart to the fictional Mattie Ross, heroine of True Grit, the subject of the Library's Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring transformative power into the lives of citizens.
A flamboyant girl with a persistent New York accent, Josephine landed in Tombstone, Arizona, and sustained a lifelong partnership with Earp, a man of uncommon charisma and complex heroism.
Hers is a spirited and colorful tale of ambition, adventure, self-invention, and romance reflective of America itself, from the post-Civil War years to World War II.
Kirschner is University Dean of Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York. She began her career as a lecturer in Victorian literature at Princeton University. She is the author of Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story and Letters to Sala: A Young Woman's Life in Nazi Labor Camps.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407.