Join us for a Book Signing with Diane McPhail, author of the new novel The Abolitionist's Daughter. Our venue, the Historic Lowry House, is a museum house preserved from its building by an anti-slavery Southerner, which makes it a place deeply connected to The Abolitionist's Daughter. This event is free and open to the public. The Snail will offer books for sale at the event; and, as always, we appreciate your purchase from us, to support this and other future author events in our community.
Her book tour includes stops in Oxford, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and all around the Carolinas; so don't miss the chance to meet her in Huntsville!
About the book:
The Abolitionist’s Daughter, a vividly rendered, culturally important debut novel by Diane C. McPhail, is set in Mississippi during the violent turmoil leading up to and just after the Civil War. The Abolitionist’s Daughter illuminates a corner of Southern history that’s little-known and rarely glimpsed: the experiences and struggles of those openly opposed to slavery in a time and place when the freeing of slaves was illegal. At the novel’s heart are three extraordinary women who refuse to compromise what they know to be right, as they negotiate the devastations of war, betrayal, and a world depleted by the conflict of men: Emily, the daughter of an abolitionist; Ginny, a slave who was illegally educated alongside Emily; and Adeline, the mother of Emily’s husband.
The historical inspiration for The Abolitionist’s Daughter is nearly as astonishing as the novel itself. In part, it is based on a legendary feud between two families – the Edwards and the Greys – in Webster County, Mississippi. Born in Jackson and raised on the Mississippi Delta, Diane McPhail grew up hearing stories about the violent clash that would become the basis for her novel. But it wasn’t until the author was in her 40s that she learned about the life of her great-grandmother, Mary Ellen Edwards Gray Nelson, and her much more personal connection to this history. Born in 1840, she was a woman in Webster County, Mississippi who stood up for what was right in the face of devastating loss, and her legacy is woven into the protagonist of The Abolitionist’s Daughter.
In the tradition of Cold Mountain, The Abolitionist’s Daughter eschews stereotypes of the Civil War South, instead weaving an intricate and unforgettable story of survival, loyalty, hope, and redemption.
About the author:
Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. A graduate of Duke Writers, University of Iowa Distance, and the Yale Writers' Conference, she is a member of NC Writers Network and the Historical Novel Society. The Abolitionist’s Daughter is McPhail’s major debut novel. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina with her husband and dog.