Proving you can go home again, alumna and New York Times best-selling author Heather Benedict Terrell (aka Marie Benedict) recently visited MoFo’s New York office to discuss her latest novel, The Only Woman in the Room. Hosted by MoFo’s Women’s Strategy Committee and the MoForever Women’s Network, the inspiring discussion presented a wonderful opportunity for staff, lawyers, and alumni to reconnect with Heather and other former colleagues. The discussion was broadcast to a number of MoFo offices and attendees received a copy of Heather’s book.
MoFo litigation partner and close friend Jamie Levitt introduced Heather with warm praise. Before becoming a best-selling author, Heather was a member of MoFo’s New York litigation team. During the luncheon, Heather spoke about her journey from litigator to author and how, while practicing law, she often dreamed of trying her hand at writing.
She eventually did become a full-time novelist, most recently focusing on telling the largely untold stories of women who changed history, but whose most important contributions to society nevertheless remain largely obscure. She fictionalizes the portions of these women’s lives that weren’t chronicled, likely because Heather’s protagonists were underappreciated back in their day.
Heather explained that her inspiration for female subjects has come from unusual places, like a children’s book she read to one of her young sons, and a plaque on a building.
“As a writer, I feel it’s my duty to extract the most important and complex women from history and rightfully include them in the narrative,” she said.
Heather shared some excerpts from her latest novel, The Only Woman in the Room, which tells the story of Hedy Lamarr and her secret work for the Allies against the Nazis. The novel follows the real-life heroine’s journey, fleeing Austria for America, and eventually inventing the technology that we know today as WiFi.
Explaining why she felt it was important to tell Hedy’s story, Heather said, “Because she challenged the status quo of who an inventor could be, and now we all hold a piece of her history in our hands … our cell phones.”
Visit Heather’s official website to more about the author and her other works.