The Wire Recorder by Thomas A Levitt
Sophie Hearn grows up hearing about the House Un-American Activities Committee’s 1951 campaign to root out Communists in the film industry. Her father’s impassioned testimony in defense of the First Amendment—and his refusal to answer questions about his political associations—leave him blacklisted for years, destroying his promising screenwriting career and putting his family on the edge of financial ruin. Unsurprisingly, his daughter becomes politically aware at an early age.
The shadow of the blacklist follows Sophie to college and then into adulthood, affecting her politics, her career ambitions and her relationships. But it’s not until she reunites with Steve Elwood, a long-lost childhood friend, that she’s forced to face the full impact of her family’s past.
A powerful story about coming of age in California in the mid-twentieth century, The Wire Recorder explores how political paranoia, when allowed to spiral out of control, can leave a toxic residue that lasts for generations.
About the author, Thomas A Levitt:
Tom caught the writing bug early on from his parents, who encouraged his writing but were tough mentors who held his work to rigorous standards. Aware of the odds against making a living writing, Tom initially took up teaching as a “day job,” but it turned into a rewarding 33-year career as he taught elementary, middle, junior high and high school in some of Los Angeles’ toughest neighborhoods.