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- Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
- Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
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Bloomsbury presents Madwoman by Louisa Treger, read by Laurel Lefkow.
In 1887, young Nellie Bly sets out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.
But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the asylum that looms on Blackwell's Island. There, she will work undercover to document—and expose—the wretched conditions faced by the patients.
But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a harshness and cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will—but will she ever get out?
An extraordinary portrait of a woman way ahead of her time, Madwoman is the story of a quest for the truth that changed the world.
"Nellie Bly—what a girl! In this compelling tribute to a fearless young reporter of Victorian New York, Treger brings to vivid life the way one woman’s broken past gives her the strength to expose the many horrors faced by others left to rot in an asylum. Both a pioneering writer and early icon of sexual equality, Nellie’s true-life story is compassionately told in this remarkable read." (Essie Fox)
"Louisa Treger takes us deep inside the mind of an extraordinary woman, whose ambition to succeed in a male world leads her to the very brink of madness. It’s a moving, absorbing and beautifully written story, and a terrifying portrait of the fate many women suffered in the late nineteenth century. A must-read!" (Gill Paul)
"An intimate and intriguing portrait of a fascinating and complex woman. In Madwoman, Louisa Treger combines her talents of storytelling and imagination to bring Nellie Bly firmly out of the history books and back into the spotlight where she, and her trailblazing journalism, belong. Fabulous." (Hazel Gaynor)