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Mrs. Lowe-Porter

Jo Salas

February 6, 2024

Mrs. Lowe-Porter (Jackleg Press 2024) was an American writer (1876-1963) who, after proving her ability, was contracted by publisher Alfred A. Knopf to translate the brilliant books and stories of Thomas Mann from 1924 -1960. Her flowing German to English translations led to Mann’s growing reputation and helped earn him the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1911, she married paleographer Elias Lowe, with whom she had three children and many good years, but he was also another dominating man in her life (in addition to Mann and Knopf). Lowe-Porter wrote numerous stories and one original play that was performed in 1948, but her struggle to write and publish was stymied by convention and the requirements of her time. On a side note, she was also the great-grandmother of former U.K. prime minister, Boris Johnson.

Jo Salas is a New Zealander now living in upstate New York. She has a BA in English literature from Victoria University in New Zealand and an MM in music therapy from New York University. As the cofounder of Playback Theatre, an original theatre practice based on personal stories, Jo has published numerous articles and four books including Improvising Real Life, now in 10 translations. Her fiction includes the Pushcart-nominated short story “After,” and the Pen & Brush award winner “Antarctica.” Jo’s first novel, Dancing with Diana, is about a young man in a wheelchair who met the future princess when they were both 15 years old. When she's not reading or writing, Jo is likely to be teaching international students how to enact real people’s stories, playing hide-and-seek with her grandkids, or marching on the street with other social justice activists.

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