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September 21 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us at the Booksmith as we welcome Eleanor Henderson for the debut of her forthcoming novel The Twelve-Mile Straight.
Set in Georgia during the years of the Depression and prohibition, The Twelve-Mile Straight is an American epic about race, inequality, and family that reads like a page-turner and is startlingly timely and relevant. It begins when two babies—one dark-skinned, the other light—are born to the daughter of a sharecropper who operates an illegal distillery. The twins’ birth raises questions that have violent, tragic consequences that continue to reverberate many years into the future.
Henderson’s childhood was brimming with accounts from her grandparents’ and her father of the town where her grandparents were sharecroppers. She heard tales of her grandparents during the Great Depression and stories about the hard times on the farm, and she also learned about the resilience and the ways in which families persevere together. Henderson was inspired to bring the world of Cotton County, Georgia during the time of Jim Crow to the page, and says she wanted “to capture the innocence of those country stories, and also to fracture it. I knew there was a darker narrative running alongside this one, like the quiet creek running along the [fictional] Twelve-Mile Straight.”