Telling the Stories of Women Since 1991
I am finishing a new nonfiction book which will be published in January 2018 by HarperCollins. Details to be announced soon!
My most recent book, published by Simon & Schuster's Atria Books, is Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County, the second of two historical novels about a book club composed of outcasts and dreamers who band together to cope with intolerance in small-town Florida in the early 1960s.
I began my career in 1981 in the newspaper business. In 1991, I decided to pursue an interview with a pair of then-unknown and reclusive centenarian sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delany, the daughters of a man born into slavery in the American South. After interviewing the delightful sisters, I wrote a feature story that was published by The New York Times. To my astonishment, a book publisher who read by story contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing a book. The Delany Sisters and I worked together for almost two years to create the book, an oral history which we called Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years. The book was a blockbuster bestseller. It was adapted to the Broadway stage and for an award-winning film.
The Delany Sisters are both gone now but their legacy lives on. The sisters left me in charge of the book and thus I am the go-to person when it comes to the book, photographs, their story, and their place in history. If you can't find my original New York Times story on the Delany Sisters, let me know and I will send it to you. If you have a question, just ask. More information about the Delany Sisters can be found on this site by clicking "Books" in the main menu, then "Having Our Say." Again, any questions, feel free to ask!
My other nonfiction books include the story of a pair of married Holocaust survivors who worked for the Underground during World War Two and a rare oral history of a female Native American Elder named Strong Medicine.
I enjoy telling the stories of people who have been marginalized or overlooked in our culture. There is nothing more gratifying than finding a lost story or helping elders to "have their say"!