Opinionated Women to be Celebrated at Book Talk on April 4

Two writers and the editor of a book of columns from 63 women journalists from Connecticut, “Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits,” will discuss the book on April 4 at 7 p.m. at the Tolland Public Library at 21 Tolland Green.
Editor James Herbert Smith and Jacqueline Smith, Hearst Connecticut Media’s editorial page editor at The News-Times in Danbury and The Norwalk Hour, and Maureen Croteau, a professor of journalism and the longtime head of the University of Connecticut Journalism Department, will take part in the free talk ponsored by the Tolland Public Library Foundation.
The talk is part of the foundation’s Eaton-Dimock-King Authors Series. Since 2010, the series has brought well-known authors to Tolland, including Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists Dan Barry and Steven G. Smith, Caragh O’Brien, Lucy Anne Hurston, Jane Haddam, Dawn Metcalf, Denis Horgan, Jeff Goldberg, Cindy Rodriguez, Susan Schoenberger and Lucy Anne Hurston.
James Smith is a retired newspaper editor, past president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, a member of the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame and past president of the non-profit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
In the book, he has included newspaper columns by women journalists published between the 1950s, with one flashback to 1828, and the present day. The columns cover topics from the #metoo movement to health care, fashion, sports, politics, art and nature, with history, clarity, honesty and humor.
Jacqueline Smith’s entries include a touching column for The News-Times about sending her first daughter off to college, a forceful call in The Meriden Record-Journal in 2000 for the Polish Elks club to stop holding a “stag” dinner and a powerful column about gun control in The News-Times in 2015.

The work of Croteau, who is a member of the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame, includes a moving 1987 column in The Day of New London about a condolence call on the widow of a neighbor. Her entertaining column about a man with a seemingly endless saga involving the state Department of Motor Vehicles, published in The Hartford Times in 1972, and her reaction to paparazzi as bounty hunters, not journalists, written in the Hartford Courant in 1997 after the death of Diana, princess of Wales, are also featured.

Other columnists featured are Maura Casey of The Day; Karen Hunter, Gina Barreca, Jenifer Frank, Carolyn Lumsden, Helen Ubinas, Claire Smith and Susan Campbell of the Courant; the late Lisa Chedekel, Deb Waldman and Katherine Weber of the New Haven Register and Faith Vincent Middleton of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester.
Please register for the talk by calling the library at 860-871-3620 or online at tolland.org/library.

Editor James Herbert Smith

Jacqueline Smith

Maureen Croteau