Mama Rose's Turn:

The True Story of America's Most Notorious Stage Mother

by Carolyn Quinn

Available Now from University Press of Mississippi,,,

or at a Bookstore Near You!


Her name was Rose Thompson Hovick. 

She was destined to posthumously go down in history as "the epitome of a fame-obsessed stage mother" after her life story was wildly fictionalized and made into the acclaimed Broadway musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable, but who was she?

How did the story of a child born on the North Dakota prairie in 1891 wind up in the lights of Broadway?  The role of Rose has been played onstage by Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone, in film by Rosalind Russell and in a TV movie by Bette Midler.  Next up will be a new movie starring Barbra Streisand.  Where did the ficticious take on this woman's colorful life - the fable of the musical's title - end, and where did the real truth about Mama Rose begin?

Carolyn Quinn set out to uncover the true story of the life of Rose Thompson Hovick and has written an intricately detailed biography of the quietly fabulous lady behind the legend.  Working with Gypsy Rose Lee's family's archival documents, including hundreds of letters written by Rose herself, newspaper articles, and interviews of Rose's friends and family members, Carolyn has put together the must-read biography for theater fans everywhere, as well as anyone interested in the Americana of Jazz Age Vaudevillians and Depression-era Burlesque.  The story she found is far from the one she thought she would find.  Beginning with Rose's family's arrival in America and ending with Rose's legend, it is the most comprehensive volume on Rose Thompson Hovick to date, and absolutely not to be missed.  MAMA ROSE'S TURNcan be ordered here: 


C​arolyn Quinn, Author