Lisa Wingate, New York Times Best-selling Author, returns to Blount County Public Library to promote her latest historical novel, Before We Were Yours, on Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m.
From the Library’s Press Release:
The book is a fictionalized account of a heart-rending and little known piece of human trafficking in Tennessee history: the story of an adoption agency that stole children from poor families and sold them to wealthy people. The Tennessee Children‟s Home Society (TCHS) actually existed in West Tennessee and operated for approximately 30 years during the first half of the twentieth century.
The plot develops around a sad and striking paradox, the true story of the Tennessee Children‟s Home Society and Georgia Tann, a woman believed responsible for the kidnapping and adoption-for-profit of over 5,000 children and the probable deaths of over 500 children from the 1920s-1950. While Tann (assisted by corrupt officials) did place some children living in deplorable and dangerous conditions into loving and financially secure homes, she also seized children from grief-stricken parents without due process and placed them in holding facilities where they were much neglected and abused.
According to Wingate, “Before We Were Yours examines the disturbing subject of inhumanity for the goal of profit, yet it is also a novel of hope. It asks readers to consider the value of young lives, not as commodities or ‘blank slates,’ as Tann often presented her wards, but as human beings with memories, needs, and dreams.”
Before We Were Yours is the portrayal of the lives of the Foss children who were stolen from their parents‟ shanty boat on the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1936. The story is a fictionalized account of real incidents that occurred with real children who were kidnapped, mistreated, abused and starved.
Lisa Wingate, a former journalist, is an inspirational speaker who has written 20 bestseller books. Her work has been nominated for many awards including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award and the RT Reviewers‟ Choice Award. Wingate lives in the Ouachita Mountains of southern Arkansas.
Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.