The Hidden Women of the Panama Canal by Marlie Parker Wasserman
When I queried agents about my novel on Theodore Roosevelt and the Panama Canal, one sent back a memorable reply. “Teddy Roosevelt,” she said, “that’s a man’s topic and readers will expect a man to write about it.” I considered that reply foolish, but it jolted me into clarifying that there was more to the story of the Canal than the efforts of officials and laborers.
Yes, obviously, Teddy Roosevelt was a man—often considered a man’s man, whatever that phrase means—and he worked with a group of trusted officials and depended on men to do the dredging and the shovel work. But with a little research, I found the women in the story.
The outline of my novel, Path of Peril, is straightforward. Roosevelt visited the site of the Panama Canal over a week in 1906, and I imagine various assassins taking that opportunity to kill him. I knew the assassins would be men and their henchmen and funders would […]