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93-year-old Woman Relives Youth When Diary is Found

Audio

Aired 5/4/09

When New York Times journalist Lily Koppel climbed into a dumpster outside her apartment building, she didn't know the extent of the treasures that lay inside. What came of it was a book based on a 75-year-old diary kept by a young New York woman in the 1930s.

Maureen Cavanaugh: Just a few years ago, a young New York reporter was headed out the door to work when she noticed something strange about a dumpster near her apartment on Riverside Drive. It was full of old steamer trunks. Curiosity overcame the woman's desire to get to work on time. And she started pawing through those old trappings. That's when Lily Koppel discovered a diary that had been kept by a teenage girl in the 1930s. It was bound in red leather, and the story it told was a fascinating chronicle of the times and the life of a precocious, well-to-do New York girl. Even better, Koppel was able to track down the diary's author, who was in her 90s. The story told in the diary, and how it compares to the way the woman's life turned out, are told in the book The Red Leather Diary by Koppel. Tom Fudge spoke with Lily Koppel last year about her discovery and the life behind it. Here's that interview...

Guest

Lily Koppel, New York Times journalist and author of "The Red Leather Diary."

(Originally aired on Sept. 3, 2008)

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