(L to R: Roger Brucker, Brian E. Coutts [moderator], Brigid Pasulka, Patti Lacy, Ann Gabhart, Mary Calhoun Brown. )
“Travel in Time”: Historical Fiction
One of the featured panels at this year’s Southern Kentucky Bookfest held at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green on April 17 focused on historical novels. Ann H. Gabhart, a native of the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky and the author of 19 books for adults and young adults talked about her newest book The Believer, the second in her new “Shaker Series” set in “Harmony Hill” in the 1820s and 1830s. Roger Brucker, intrepid cave explorer and author spoke about his newest book Grand Gloomy and Peculiar: Stephen Bishop at Mammoth Cave which tells the tale of a slave who gained fame as a guide in the 1840s and 1850s. Brigid Pasulka, who teaches high school English at a Chicago Magnet School, talked about writing her extraordinary first novel A Long Time Ago & Essentially True which contrasts a grandfather’s and granddaughter’s experiences growing up in a small village and the city of Krakow, Poland on the eve of World War Ii and fifty years later as democracy is reborn. The book won this year’s Hemingway/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction. Patti Lacy, a native Texan spoke about her two newest novels An Irish Woman’s Tale, a story of betrayal and forgiveness, and What the Bayou Saw which describes how an attack on one of an Illinois college teacher’s African American students triggers her memories of segregation, a blood oath and a dead body in a Louisiana bayou. Mary Calhoun Brown from Huntington, West Virginia talked about her first young adult novel There Are No Words, which tells the tale of a 12 year old girl with autism who finds her voice by traveling back in time to 1918 and a train wreck near Nashville, Tennessee. Brian Coutts, Head of Library Public Services at WKU served as Moderator.