Community Conversation: Lisa Wingate & Judy Christie

We are delighted to bring to Huntsville two authors who have an important, compelling story to tell about a dark chapter in southern history. This is an event you will absolutely not want to miss.

Along with the Huntsville Library Foundation, The Snail on the Wall is proud to welcome authors Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate to discuss their upcoming book Before and After: The Incredible Real-life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.  This new title is inspired by Wingate’s #1 bestselling novel Before We Were Yours. Come enjoy a fascinating conversation with these two renowned authors to be followed by a book signing. We will also hear from a special guest, Huntsville resident Sallie Brandon, who was an actual adoptee of the Tennessee Children's Home Society.

Each $35 ticket includes entrance to the talk and one copy of the brand-new hardcover book, Before and After: The Incredible Real-life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, which releases on October 22. Books will also be available for purchase at the event.

Purchase tickets here.


About Before and After:
From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.

The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.

Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, many of the long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with the authors to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.


Event date: 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 6:30pm

Event address: 

Randolph School Thurber Arts Center
4915 Garth Road
Huntsville, AL 35802
Staff Pick Badge
Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593130148
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - October 22nd, 2019

Before We Were Yours: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425284704
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - May 21st, 2019