The day hinted of spring long overdue. It was March 25, 1911. In Greenwich Village, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was on fire. Nell Walker witnesses young girls jumping to their deaths to flee the flames blocking their escape. The raging inferno kills 146 and sparks an ember in Nell that burns. She vows that the world she lives in must change—a world divided by class, color, and the desires of the heart.
A brave, charming, yet fiercely independent woman, Nell leaves the comfort of her brownstone in New York City to reveal the desperate lives of women and children working in the stifling factories and canneries of upstate New York. Exposing herself to real danger, her reporting introduces her to the headline grabbers of the emerging labor movement and to a reporter with a camera who brings light and shadow to his work and her life.
It is the dawn of a new century. A time when women marched in picket lines, shortened their hemlines, and fought to have their voices heard.
Choosing Herself is Nell’s story. Told in her own words, it is the tale of a woman playing the hand she is dealt and willing to take the gamble on where her life will lead.