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Michael Lowenthal’s best-selling novel, Charity Girl, is based on a startling, little-known historical fact: during World War I, the United States government arrested and incarcerated some 30,000 women suspected of carrying venereal disease. These young women were held against their will and without legal recourse, sometimes for over a year, until they were cured using barbaric medical protocols. Charity Girl imagines the fate of a fictional girl as she struggles for independence, security, love, and finally, freedom itself. In this interview, Michael Lowenthal talks about his process, his research, and how he became infatuated by such an unusual subject.