After six years of research that sent Kate Stewart trekking around the globe, the local author’s first biography offers a dazzling view into the life of a librarian who refused to walk the line.
A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport archives the harrowing, and at times brazen, tale of a librarian who championed access to information and balked at sexism in the workplace years before the Western feminist movement came to be.
Her ambition would drive her further still.
Born in Leipzig, Germany, Rappaport was only 10 years old when the Nazi Party rose to power. And in 1933, she needed to see for herself the book burnings that took place in her hometown, a world-renowned city of books at the time.
What truly intrigued Stewart was Rappaport’s flawed nature.
“And I wanted to include these things about her that were negative,” Stewart said. “There’s plenty that people can still learn even though she’s not a totally wonderful, loving or perfect person all the time. Plus, I think a lot of people can identify with her struggles of feeling like an outsider.”
Read the entire Tucson Weekly article here. Originally published May 23, 2019.