Becoming Carlotta: A Biographical Novel
Brenda Murphy, author
Hazel Tharsing was born in California in 1888. Intensely shy, she learned to meet the world as the glamorous actress Carlotta Monterey, by far the greatest acting role of her twenty-year career. Counted among the most beautiful women in America, she married a British aristocrat in London, the twenty-year-old son of her mother’s lover in San Francisco, a famous artist in New York, and America’s greatest playwright, Eugene O’Neill. Her story takes us to the cities and the back country of the Old West, to Edwardian London and an English country-house life reminiscent of Downton Abbey’s, to the Broadway theater in its golden age and the tough reality of the actor’s life on the road, and to bohemian Greenwich Village and Manhattan’s arty Smart Set in the 1920s. Through it all, Carlotta is an outsized presence, inventing endless new faces to meet the challenges that life throws her way and turning from every defeat and disillusionment to look ahead with newfound energy and determination.