Manage episode 301254448 series 2854406
Susan and Jason explore Susan's journey from being born in the deep south to adopting two Korean children and having multiracial grandchildren, Susan's least favorite part of the writing process and Jason shares his childhood dream that became a reality at a much smaller scale.
"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth." - William Faulkner by way of Susan Cushman
Born in Jackson, Mississippi and educated at the University of Mississippi, author Susan Cushman moved to Memphis in 1988 where she and her husband raised three children. Fast forward thirty-two years --- and they have four granddaughters!
Her seventh novel, “John and Mary Margaret” (Koehler Books, June 2021) is a rare insider’s look into the white privilege bubble of a young girl growing up in Jackson, Mississippi and participating in sorority life on the Ole Miss campus in the late 1960s. But it’s also a candid portrayal of a young Black boy from Memphis who follows his dream to study law at the predominantly white university. What happens when their shared love for literature blossoms into an ill-fated romance? Spanning five decades of historical civil rights events in Mississippi and Memphis, John and Mary Margaret’s story will challenge the status quo and give us another opportunity to examine our history and our hearts.
In addition to “John and Mary Margaret,” her published books include three she has written: Friends of the Library (short stories), Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s (a memoir), and Cherry Bomb (a novel). She has edited three collections of essays: A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be, Southern Writers Writing, and The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years! In addition, she has over a dozen essays published in four anthologies and various journals and magazines.
Susan was co-director of the 2013 and 2010 Oxford (Mississippi) Creative Nonfiction Conferences. She was director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. She was a panelist at the 2017 Decatur Book Festival, the 2012, 2017, and 2018 Southern Festival of Books, the 2017 and 2018 Mississippi Book Festival, the 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Louisiana Book Festival, the 2018 Mississippi Writers Guild Conference, the 2018 Alabama Writers Conclave Conference, the 2018 Pat Conroy Literary Center Visiting Author Series, the 2019 Southern Literary Festival, and the 2020 AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Professionals) annual conference.
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