On Saturday, December 3rd at 11am, all are invited to meet local author Lucy Maddox as she signs copies of and discusses her book, “The Parker Sisters: A Border Kidnapping” upstairs at Zelda’s on Cross Street. This event is hosted by The Bookplate as part of the Dickens of a Christmas holiday weekend festival. The back room of The Bookplate has been expanded during the pandemic to include a larger selection of titles, so events such as the popular Authors and Oysters series, are often held off-site.
The Parker Sisters is a nonfiction exploration of the 1851 kidnapping of two free black sisters from Chester County, PA, just above the Pennsylvania-Maryland state line.
Lucy Maddox is Professor Emerita of English and American Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books including The People of Rose Hill: Black and White Life on a Maryland Plantation, Nabokov’s Novels in English, Removals: Nineteenth-Century American Literature & the Politics of Indian Affairs, Citizen Indians: Native American Intellectuals, Race & Reform. She lives with her husband in Chestertown.
“The Parker Sisters impresses by the breadth and depth of the impeccable research as well as by its engaging, at times genuinely suspenseful writing. The brisk narrative of the kidnapping of two free black sisters across the Mason-Dixon Line comes to life here. Maddox is a skillful historian who enters a single case so fully that the Fugitive Slave Act becomes understandable in a very direct way. This is an outstanding book.” – Werner Sollors, Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Research Professor of English Literature, Harvard University
Then at 2pm on the same day, join us back at Zelda’s to meet NPR’s Maureen Corrigan as she discusses her book, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be And Why It Endures. Corrigan’s book asks us; how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? While Fitzgerald’s masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power. Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great — and utterly unusual — So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel’s hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby ‘s surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a “classic,” and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender. (And we can’t think of a more appropriate location to discuss this book than at Zelda’s!)
Maureen Corrigan is the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and the author of Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading. Winner of an Edgar Award for criticism, she has written essays and reviews for many publications. She teaches literature at Georgetown University, where she is the critic in residence, and lives with her husband and daughter in Washington, D.C.
“Maureen Corrigan has produced a minor miracle: a book about The Great Gatsby that stands up to Gatsby itself.” -Michael Cunningham, author of The Snow Queen
For more event details contact The Bookplate at 410-778-4167 or [email protected]. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Zelda’s Speakeasy is located at 108 S. Cross Street, in Chestertown, Maryland. The Bookplate will continue its popular Authors & Oysters series at The Retriever Bar on 12/7 with Doug Richardson and his thriller, “Down Wind and Out of Sight”.