Lilyan’s back
A forgotten 1921 book about Reno is having a comeback.

Reno/A Book of Short Stories and Information was written by Lilyan Stratton, an actress who came to Reno in 1917 during the city’s heyday as a quickie divorce haven to divorce her second husband, Frank Campeau. Four years after her departure, Corbin Publishing in New Jersey brought out her book.

The copyright on the book has expired, and that has led to more than one new edition in formats undreamed of by its author.

Kessinger Publishing UK, a British print-on-demand house, has reprinted the book in a $20.95 softcover edition.

Project Gutenberg, created to encourage the spread of “ebooks,” has published Stratton’s book as a text file available at www.gutenberg.org/etext/5951.

KnowledgeRush.com, ManyBooks.net and FreeBooksToRead.com have all posted the book in its entirety, though some computers have trouble gaining access to the ManyBooks version. KnowledgeRush has the most readable online version at www.knowledgerush.com

Born the daughter of a fertilizer-factory worker, Stratton left home early and ended up nearly destitute in New York City where she sold newspapers. Little is known of her first marriage. By one account, she performed in some early silent films.

Besides Reno, Stratton also wrote Homing, Feminine Philosophy and The Wife’s Lesson. After her Reno divorce from Campeau, she married banker Alfred Corbin (Corbin was her maiden name, which he adopted when he emigrated to the U.S. from Holland). She was killed in a car wreck in 1928, and her widower built the Corbin Memorial Library in Criswell, Md., in her memory. It still stands.

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...