On June 25th, 1894, Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, a young Jewish mother of three small children, stood before a crowd of 500 friends, family, suffragists and curious onlookers at the Massachusetts State House. She then climbed onto a 42- pound Columbia bicycle and, according to the Boston Evening Transcript, “sailed away like a kite down Beacon Street.” Fifteen months later, the New York World declared Annie’s round-the-world bicycle trip, “the most extraordinary journey ever undertaken by a woman.”
In SPIN: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story author Peter Zheutlin, the great grandnephew of Annie, reimagines the life of this extraordinary woman. Reportedly set in motion by a wager between two wealthy Boston merchants, the bet required Annie not only to circle the earth by bicycle in 15 months, but to earn $5,000 en route, as well. This was no mere test of a woman’s physical endurance and mental fortitude; it was a test of a woman’s ability to fend for herself in the world.
Traveling with only a change of clothes and a pearl-handled revolver, Annie was outlandish, brash, and charismatic – a master of public relations, a consummate self-promoter, and a skillful creator of her own myth. In SPIN, this remarkable heroine and her marvelous, stranger-than-fiction story is vividly brought to life for a new generation.
About the Author: Peter Zheutlin is the author of the New York Times bestseller Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs and a Million Miles on the Lost Hope Highway and The Dog Went Over the Mountain: Travels with Albie – An American Journey (also available from Pegasus Books), a Lowell Thomas/Society of American Travel Writers Award winner. Peter lives in Massachusetts with his wife, author Judy Gelman.
“An icon at the dawn of women’s cycling, Annie Londonderry was part athlete, part adventurer, and part scoundrel. In SPIN, Peter Zheutlin takes inspiration from her real-life story to present a rollicking account of her bicycle trip around the world and explore the personal costs of forging ahead as an ambitious New Woman in the 1890s.” – Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom