In this edition of Madison Book Beat, David Ahrens speaks with Rebecca Donner, author of a compelling and deeply-researched biography about her great-great-aunt Mildred Fish Harnack, a Wisconsin woman who went on to lead an anti- Nazi espionage ring in Berlin.
It’s titled “All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler,” (Little, Brown and Company, 2021), was an instant New York Times bestseller, and has since received multitudinous honors, including being listed for a 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award, a New York Times Notable Book of 2021, and a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of the Year.
Rebecca Donner is the winner of many awards and is the recipient of a 2022 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. She is also the author of the novel Sunset Terrace and Burnout, a graphic novel about ecoterrorism. Ms. Donner is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and has taught writing at Wesleyan University, Columbia University, and Barnard College. She is the great-great niece of Mildred Harnack.
Donner will be giving a talk this Wednesday, April 13 at 4pm at the Pyle Center on the UW-Madison campus, which will also be streamed live on Zoom. You can register to attend this event in-person here, or register to watch the lecture virtually here. The title of the talk is “Mildred Harnack: An American Graduate Student at the Center at the Center of Berlin’s Underground Resistance to Hitler.”