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Family Declassified Author Katherine Fennelly Joins the Sunbury Press Books Show

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The life of Francis Kalnay is deconstructed by Katherine Fennelly in her new Sunbury Press work, "Family Declassified--Uncovering My Grandfather's Journey from Spy to Children's Book Author."

Kalnay's tale sounds like something out of a John LeCarre or Ian Fleming novel--a Jewish Hungarian immigrant who arrived in the United States more than a century ago, he rose to become a top-level spy for the Allies during World War II. The charismatic, multilingual Kalnay led an elite espionage unit, had numerous affairs, and suffered the muder of his sister and nephew by Hungarian fascists (a matter he never spoke of).

In 1954, Kalnay abandoned his family and fled to Mexico where he remade himself, as a designer of homes and an award-winning children's author. He is perhaps best known for the Newbery-Award-winning "Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampa" in 1959. The details of his secret life were buried in Office of Strategic Services (OSS) files, and unearthed by his granddaughter.

Katherine Fennelly is Professor Emerita at the University of Minnesota. She has also served as dean of the University of Minnesota Extension Service, a faculty member and department head at Penn State University, and a faculty member of the Columbia University School of Public Health. Her research and outreach interests include the human rights of immigrants and refugees in the US, and the preparedness of communities and institutions to adapt to demographic changes. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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