Greetings, from my desk to yours...
This time of year I always think of the Delany Sisters and their humble expectations for Christmas. When they were children in the 1890s, they might get an orange in their Christmas stockings. If they were lucky, they might even get a grapefruit. Looking back as centenarians, they didn't feel deprived. Far from it.
I am finish 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 in a series of novels about a book club comprised of misfits and dreamers in small-town Florida in the early 1960s.
I began my career in the newspaper business. In 1991, because of my love of history and older people, I pursued an interview with a pair of then-unknown and reclusive centenarian sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delany, who were the daughters of a man born into slavery in the American South. My story on the delightful pair of sisters was published by The New York Times, and among those who read it was a book publisher who asked if I would be interested in expanding my story into a book. The Delany Sisters and I worked together for almost two years to create the book, an oral history we called Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years. The book was a runaway bestseller. It was adapted to the Broadway stage and for an award-winning film.
My other nonfiction books include the story of a pair of married Holocaust survivors who masqueraded as Christians and worked for the Underground during World War Two, and a rare oral history of a female Native American Elder whose name is 'Strong Medicine.'