Diane LeBow Shares her Thoughts on "Melanie's Song"
The President Emerita of Bay Area Travel Writers, Diane LeBow, gives her thoughts on Joanna Biggar's new novel,"Melanie's Song."
"In Melanie's Song, Joanna Biggar takes you along on an amazing ride of mystery and intriguing details, combining personal turbulence masterfully set against the reality of the politics of the '60s and '70s in the USA. Her writing, both crisp and lyrical, draws you into each scene with suspense and tempting detail. Of course, there are those earlier memories of Paris. It's quite a trip."
—Diane LeBow, President Emerita of the Bay Area Travel Writers
Diane LeBow is a Bay Area Travel Writers President emerita and award winning writer and photojournalist. Based in San Francisco, she has published stories with Salon.com, VIA Magazine, Copley News Service, Travelers Tales anthologies, France: A Love Story: Women Write about the French Experience (Seal Press, 2004), Greece: A Love Story: Women Write about the Greek Experience (Seal Press, 2007); Foreign Affairs: Erotic Travel Tales (Cleis Press); B for Savvy Brides, and many national newspapers and magazines.
She travels the globe and has spent time with Afghan women, the Hopi, Amazon people, Tuvans, Mongolians, Corsicans, and Parisians. She has scuba dived with sharks in the Red Sea and trained champion Morgan horses. A pioneer of college women’s studies programs, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California in the History of Consciousness, began her teaching career in The Netherlands, and was a college professor for many years in Paris, New York City, and California.
Set in the era of Woodstock and Watergate, Melanie’s Song centers on a young woman’s mysterious disappearance, and on her friend’s determined search for her.
Melanie, who fled her marriage to a straight-laced classical musician in order to hitch-hike to Woodstock and San Francisco, was last seen at a commune in the California hills. Rumors abound: that she took up with a Black radical; that she had his child; that she and her lover, armed, ran a bank heist a la Patty Hearst; that she developed a mystical gift for spiritual healing; that she died in a possible accidental, possibly staged commune fire.
Trying to sift truth from invention pulls her friend, the young reporter, J.J., into the underbelly of the sexual and social revolutions of the 60s and early 70s, where she encounters corrupt cops, paranoid hippies, activists, mystics, drug-runners,and most astonishingly, Melanie’s own parents. Risking her job, her connections, her life, J.J. follows Melanie’s trail, determined to find out what happened to her once-compliant friend now turned, it seems, into a rebel angel.