Lori McMullen: Among the Beautiful Beasts



BIG BLEND RADIO: This episode features author and writer Lori McMullen who discusses her new novel, “Among the Beautiful Beasts.” Set in 1920s Miami, the book reveals the remarkable untold story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas – the woman who saved the Everglades. Watch here in the YouTube player or listen to the podcast on PodBean or SoundCloud.

After spending her childhood in New England nursing her mother, who fades into madness, Marjory marries a swindler thirty years her senior. The marriage nearly destroys her, but Marjory finds the courage to move to Miami, where she begins a new life as a journalist.

Buoyed by a growing sense of independence and an affair with a rival journalist, Marjory embraces a life lived at the intersection of the untamed Everglades and the rapacious urban development that threatens it. When the demands of a man once again begin to swallow Marjory’s own desires and dreams, Marjory sees herself in the vulnerable, inimitable Everglades, and knows she must choose between a life of subjugation or a leap into the wild unknown. Told in chapters that alternate between an urgent midnight chase through the wetlands and extensive narrative flashbacks, “Among the Beautiful Beasts” expertly weaves together suspense and thoughtful reflection.

Lori McMullen grew up in unincorporated Dade County, outside of Miami. Growing up, her family took an annual trip to the west coast of Florida. McMullen was inspired by the scenic drive along Route 41, a two-lane, pot-hole ridden stretch of road that bisected Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. South Florida found its way into her heart and into her writing, even after she left Miami to attend Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. McMullen currently lives with her husband and three daughters in Chicago. Her short stories have been featured in the Tampa Review and Slush Pile magazine. “Among the Beautiful Beasts” (2021) is her first novel. For more information on her life and work, please visit: https://www.lorimcmullen.com/

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