About the Author / Contact Ann
Journalist and author Ann Ferrar has written a wide range of feature articles and narrative non-fiction for well over 30 years. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, in major women's magazines and online venues. She has covered such diverse subjects as motorcycling, medicine, lively arts, profiles of women, and women’s lifestyles and social issues. She is best known as the author of the groundbreaking non-fiction book Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road (NY: Crown, 1996).
While chronicling the history of America’s women bikers, Ann introduced Bessie Stringfield to a global readership. Hear Me Roar was critically acclaimed and covered by The New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly and others. The book has been cited in studies of women in non-traditional roles and it earned a motorcycle industry award for inspiring more women to experience the freedom of riding.
Ann met Bessie at the start of her road trips for Hear Me Roar in 1990. Bessie asked the younger author-biker to preserve and write her life story; thus, Ann Ferrar became Bessie Stringfield’s authorized biographer. Ann is the sole rights-holder to her collection of stories and storylines on the life of Bessie Stringfield, which have been published in various forms such as narratives and chronicles in print and online.
At Bessie's request, Ann was the only author to record the voice and the stories of Bessie Stringfield as told by Bessie herself in a series of audio tapes. Through her writings, the author has shone continuous light on the nearly lost history of Bessie Stringfield as a singular figure in black and women's history. Ann’s stories, which date back to the early 1990s, are original, primary-sourced, and they precede all uncredited, paraphrased copies on the Internet and other media.
Ann rode her own motorcycles for 18 years, owning six different bikes. She began riding in her native New York City and became an assertive urban biker and a long-distance solo rider. To research and write Hear Me Roar between 1990 and 1996, the author rode tens of thousands of miles alone around America. She spent time with more than 100 women bikers and was a participant-observer in scores of motorcycle rallies and other events from coast to coast. She experienced the distinctly different subcultures of motorcycling, from high-risk sports to diehard lifestyles in which women stood out.
In response to popular demand from her readers and admirers of Bessie Stringfield, this website has been created as a preview of Ann's next book. The author is drawing upon unreleased portions of Bessie's exclusive oral history tapes, as well as her own diaries and other hidden passageways. With African American Queen of the Road—Bessie Stringfield and Me, A Memoir of Race, Friendship, Resilience and the Road, Ann is painting a deeper portrait of Bessie in a long-form biography. Interwoven is a personal memoir of their friendship and how it impacted Ann, both on and off the road. With the author's life wisdom hard-earned over time, the book has been 25 years in the making.
Born and raised in South Brooklyn, the author is a graduate of Brooklyn College, City University of New York. After living many years in Manhattan, Ann currently lives in nearby New Jersey.