The Blue Box To Be Published by Sarabande Books

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The Blue Box To Be Published by Sarabande Books
August 12, 2014
February 17, 2012
Unnamed Venue
United States

BringingTheBookHome <em>The Blue Box</em> To Be Published by Sarabande Books

My lat­est work, enti­tled The Blue Box, will be pub­lished in August of 2014 by Sarabande Books.

From roughly 2008—2011 (I think—time has a way of length­en­ing, then short­en­ing dra­mat­i­cally), I’ve had the deep plea­sure and priv­i­lege of work­ing on a col­lec­tion of papers found in the top of my mother’s closet after she died, let­ters from long for­got­ten rel­a­tives, mainly women, in Virginia, West Virginia and Georgia, cov­er­ing more than 150 years.

I’m call­ing the book that resulted, The Blue Box, to com­mem­o­rate the large, sky-blue box in which my sis­ter Eleanor found this trea­sure trove, all care­fully bun­dled and anno­tated by a rel­a­tive I never knew who did the col­lect­ing and anno­tat­ing fifty years ago before send­ing it on to my mother.

Perhaps he hoped she’d read them; appar­ently, she didn’t—there is only one sen­tence in her hand­writ­ing, deplor­ing a great-grandmother’s “reli­gious fanaticism”.

Perhaps he hoped they would go to an archive.

They didn’t. These women were not rich, or famous, or beau­ti­ful, or well-known for scan­dals or achievements.

But they are united by an iron thread: they were indomitable.

Sewing pelisses to sell to sur­vive the dev­as­ta­tion of their plan­ta­tion on the Etowah River in Georgia after Sherman’s march to the sea; turn­ing their pretty daugh­ters into stocks to be mar­keted to the most afflu­ent avail­able men; chas­ing down a schol­ar­ship to become the first col­lege grad­u­ate in her fam­ily, and then lay­ing a four year siege to a reluc­tant lover: They did more than sur­vive. They tri­umphed over poverty, igno­rance, and the stric­tures that gov­erned women’s lives.

For more infor­ma­tion about The Blue Box:

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