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The Remarkable Courage of Women

Sue Monk Kidd’s novel of slavery in the old South

Feb. 2, 2014
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Deeply entangled relationships are woven throughout Sue Monk Kidd’s new historical novel The Invention of Wings. In this absorbing tale, readers are transported to the slaveholding South. They meet Sarah Grimké on her eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of a 10-year-old slave named Handful. The ensuing relationship between the pair covers 35 years and is marked by conflicting feelings of love, affection, guilt and betrayal. Both come of age and grow into inspirational figures as their lives take paths that neither woman’s place in society proscribed for her.

Loosely based upon the real life story of Charleston native Sarah Grimké, this passionate tale questions the troubled terrain that existed between a white and black woman in the South at the turn of the 19th century and proves the remarkable and empowering courage of women. Told in both Sarah and Handful’s voices, this striking narrative is an important look at both the history of slavery in America as well as the early year’s of the women’s rights movement.

Sue Monk Kidd is the best-selling author of The Secret Life of Bees, which spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also the author of The Mermaid Chair and the memoir Traveling with Pomegranates, both run-away bestsellers. Sue Monk Kidd will speak at Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10. This free event is co-sponsored by Boswell Book Co. and 89.7 WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and will feature a Q&A discussion moderated by WUWM’s Bonnie North.


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