Alice Young loves her music. South Carolina-born Eartha Kitt sings perfect French to Alice’s ear, and Sam Cooke moves her like a Tombigbee river reed. After stepping off the bus in New Jessup, Alabama, Hydrangeas of New Jessup follows Alice as she learns to love again, laugh again, fuss, fight, live, and trust again. It is the story of found family, and remembered family, and disagreements at the supper table about what equality really means. These are just a few of the tunes that brought her telling to life.
Join me tonight at the PEN/America Literary Awards, where Alice’s story will be named as the winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. And follow the blog to hear more about Alice’s family, her life, New Jessup, and the process of bringing this book to the world.