Author revisits San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake 

Best-selling author Ciji Ware’s latest novel, “A Race to Splendor,” released Friday, revisits San Francisco in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake, weaving in the history of architect Julia Morgan and the rebuilding of the Fairmont Hotel.

How did you do your research for this book? I used archives in Berkeley, and interviewed the restoration architects who worked on the Fairmont in 2000. They were an amazing source of information. Morgan restored it to what it was before the quake. The pictures of the damage inside were just horrific. The quake itself didn’t hurt the hotel, but the fire did the damage.

Do you, as a female journalist and writer, feel a connection to your primary characters who were pioneering women in male-dominated fields? In my historical work, I’m always asking “What were the women doing in that era?” In my own life as a journalist, I was the only woman in the room. So I absolutely identified with Julia Morgan because she was in a male-dominated field.

What makes you feel comfortable writing fiction about fact-based stories? I think I bring to my historical novels the fact that I was a journalist for 23 years. I consider myself covering a story that happened 105 years ago, but it’s fiction also. 

About The Author

Lauren Gallagher

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Monday, May 21, 2018

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