Laurie Gwen Shapiro is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist. The Stowaway is her first full-length work of nonfiction.
This fascinating and exciting story contrasts the optimism and sense of progress of the 1920s with the devastation of the 1930s. Readers... will find much to delight in here. -- Library Journal An absorbing tale. -- Book Reporter The narrative reads like a yarn from that era... [and] ultimately reveals as much about a country's changing values as it does about one boy's pluck. -- Kirkus Reviews How [Shapiro] conjures the atmosphere and hardships of seafaring life impresses... [and] Billy is a fascinating central character. -- New York Journal of Books Shapiro has revived the history of a once-celebrated stowaway to Antarctica in this well-wrought true tale of a young man who captured the hearts of millions and found adventure at sea. -- Booklist An inspiring, not-to-be missed story. The Stowaway is not only Gawronski's tale; it also highlights a time in our nation's history when people thrilled to the excitement of exploration, and daring men and women... rose to unprecedented challenges. -- The Missourian If sheer gumption is a human trait as honorable as actual accomplishment, then we should build a statue to this bold immigrant son of an interior designer. In Shapiro's splendid recount of Gawronski's most famous feat, we're taken upon a magnificent journey from the vantage of the ultimate outsider. -- The Bowery Boys So much more enjoyable than watching the evening news. -- The Bismark Tribune Entertaining as hell. There's no question that this is an adventure story for the ages. -- The Maine Edge I read nonfiction almost exclusively... and I'll be blunt: this has been a depressing year, filled with political works and stories of America's decline and social disintegration. But Laurie Gwen Shapiro's fascinating book saved my reading year, offering an incredible story, and a reminder that American Exceptionalism once had real meaning. -- Publishers Weekly A true life adventure that reads like something out of a novel. -- Amazon (A Best History Book of January 2018) Every now and then, history presents us with a life that seems almost impossible to believe. Such is the case with Billy Gavronski.... Shapiro offers a detailed look at... perhaps the last time an earthbound explorer was able to so dominate the public's interest. -- Barnes & Noble (A Best History Book of January 2018) An engaging story, engagingly told, that makes the reader root for Billy... [and] prompts one to ponder the effects of social class on fate, and the special qualities that make some people push themselves to the limit. --The Wall Street Journal A gripping, gritty, mischievous tale from an age of exploration and wonder. The Stowaway makes real history read like a boy's adventure novel. -- Kevin Baker, bestselling author of Paradise Alley Laurie Gwen Shapiro's The Stowaway is full of twists, turns, and moments of pure wonder--both joy to read and a surprisingly insightful tale of scientific exploration at its generous and courageous best. -- Deborah Blum, bestselling author of The Poisoner's Handbook Isn't this how history sometimes is best told, when a passing curiosity melds with diligent work? The Stowaway is a charming book, a glimpse of history that, by definition, fascinates and delights. -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune The Stowaway tells one of the most engaging, but forgotten, stories from the Age of Exploration. A fascinating and charming book--I highly recommend it! -- Douglas Preston, bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God What has the world come to when sled dogs and short wave radio mix, when wooden sailing barks compete with aeroplanes, when 'Eskimos' figuratively dance with flappers, and all of this is captured and disseminated by the first public relations hucksters? Laurie Gwen Shapiro's The Stowaway is magnificent. -- Bob Drury & Tom Clavin, bestselling authors of The Heart of Everything That Is Inspired by [an] engrossing yet little-known case of derring-do, [The Stowaway] evokes the magic of early 20th-century New York. -- The New York Times A fascinating window into... the exuberant 1920s and the crushing Depression that followed.... A must-read. -- USA Today Laurie Gwen Shapiro wrote The Stowaway like a Jack London novel: with a sense of adventure, wonderful detail, a lineup of intriguing characters, and above all a great story. This is the best of nonfiction. -- Mark Kurlansky, bestselling author of Paper The Stowaway proves that fact is stranger and funnier and more amazing than fiction. Laurie Gwen Shapiro artfully draws the reader into the tale of Billy Gawronski, a dreamer and adventurer. Through the wild story of his travels to Antarctica, we see history come vividly to life. -- Susan Orlean, bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin A high-concept true story for the ages.... Shapiro narrates this period piece with gusto. -- Los Angeles Times Shapiro has rescued from oblivion a wondrous tale of exploration. The Stowaway is a thrilling adventure that captures not only the making of a man but of a nation. -- David Grann, bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon