Juliana
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Vanda's Short Bio
Vanda's novel, JULIANA, about gays living in 1940s New York City, will be released in February. As a playwright Vanda has won numerous awards, among them an Edward Albee Fellowship. Her play, Vile Affections, was published by Original Works in 2008 and was a finalist for a National Lambda Literary Award. Vanda's short stories and essays have been or will be published in Prairie Schooner and The Outrider Review, The Grub Street On-line Journal and Sinister Wisdom.

Vanda's Medium Bio
Vanda's novel, Juliana (Vol. 1, 1941-1944) to be released in February by Booktrope Editions is about LGBT life in 1940s New York City. This novel is the first of a series of novels about the same characters living through successive decades of LGBT history.

As a playwright Vanda has received numerous honors, among them an Edward Albee Fellowship. Her play, Vile Affections, published by Original Works was a finalist for a National Lambda Award. Her play, Patient HM, which later became The Forgetting Curve, won the Pride Stage and Screen's Women's Playwriting Award and another play, Why'd Ya Make Me Wear This, Joe, won Celebration Theater's (where Naked Boys Singing originated) Best New LGBT Play. Vile Affections played at the New York International Fringe Festival to a sell-out audience and was published by Original Works in 2008. The Forgetting Curve was produced in Boston in September 2014 and the producer has plans to bring it to New York.

Reviews

The author who goes by the name of Vanda (one word, like Cher) is a playwright and her fast-paced writing had me the turning pages as I learned about gay culture with accurate historical references." — Janet Mason, The Huffington Post, June 2016
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“Juliana” by Vanda is a Historical Fiction novel about LGBT people in the 1940s. It’s not very often that a work of fiction will really speak to my heart, but this book certainly did. I found myself feeling heartbroken, furious, embarrassed, and enticed all through the eyes of the first person narrator, Al.... The author’s greatest strength in this book is the characters. Each one has a very distinct personality to the point that I periodically forgot that these are not real people. It’s the type of book that makes you forget that you are just reading. — Kitkat3, OnlineBookClub, 7/10/17 
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"… captures the fear, excitement, and eroticism of a young lesbian's awakening in the the 1940s." — Kirkus Reviews 
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"Vanda creates a historical novel about a time period in which we know very little about queerness—WWII... Vanda's narratives, prowess of timely language and setting and character development lend a poignant message: to be queer was to be anti-American." — July Westhale, Lambda Literary Review 
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"Juliana is the opening act in a series of stories that will cover, discover and recover LGBT history.... Vanda's clean-shave style in Juliana amplifies the creative ways in which lesbians and gays in the 1940s compartmentalized their identities like meals at an automat.....I can't wait for the next edition of yestergays' news to come out" — Alison Fradkin, Curve Magazine 
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"Juliana is a captivating piece of history and romance, a time capsule that captures all of the tumult and thrill of wartime America in the early 1940s." — IndieReader, June 30, 2016

"Imagine the first songbird crush you had—for me it was k.d. lang—and then imagine that person seducing you. Put on some Irving Berlin tunes, take your heart into the songs of the 1940s, open Juliana and let the magic begin." — Roberta Arnold, Sinister Wisdom Summer, 2016

"Vanda's research includes not only attitudes, specific places, and the music of the times (that in itself is fun), but the lingo, the slang, the dances, the clothes will put you right in the groove." — Sandra de Helen, lgbtSr, February 6, 2016
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"In Vanda's engaging novel, in the summer of 1941, Alice Huffman arrives in New York City with dreams of making it as an actress. Though stardom proves elusive, Al connects with a new circle of friends in the entertainment business, and she's immediately enchanted by Juliana, an enigmatic lounge singer. As World War II begins, Al and Juliana cross paths repeatedly and a complicated relationship develops. This romance provides a fascinating entry point into New York City's gay community during a rarely-explored era." — Publishers Weekly, September 14, 2016

"Juliana is a masterful work of historical fiction that leads you through the early 1940s with substance and style. It is an LGBT coming of age story, a tale of sexual questioning and awakening (and as such, should be reserved for more mature audiences) that really opened my eyes to some of the truths of gay history. The author makes very effective use of period language to set the tone and the scene, and even though some of the language may be offensive or hard to read, it is valuable to understanding this time in history." — Braver, On-line Book Club, September 22, 2016
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"Juliana (Volume 1, 1941-1944) by Vanda is an intriguing historical fiction romance set in 1940s New York City, where the gay community thrives in the midst of a repressive atmosphere and raging war in Europe.... Juliana is an enjoyable read (with) great insight into the life of gay men and women in 1940s New York City, where social dividing existed between the 'proper' community and the socially undesirable. I'm eager to find out how the story continues in Volume II. " — Lit Amri (Reader's Favorite)

"JULIANA is a captivating piece of history and romance, a time capsule that captures all of the tumult and thrill of wartime America in the early 1940s." — IndieReader, March 1, 2017


Interviews
Liz McMullen Show, airing April 22, 2016
People You Should Know
Theater in the Now