The Personal History of Rachel DuPree
By Ann Weisgarber
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143119487, 336pp.)
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
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"An eye-opening look at the little-explored area of a black frontier woman in the American West." --Chicago Sun-Times
Praised by Alice Walker and many other bestselling writers, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is an award-winning debut novel with incredible heart about life on the prairie as it's rarely been seen. Reminiscent of The Color Purple, as well as the frontier novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather, it opens a window on the little-known history of African American homesteaders and gives voice to an extraordinary heroine who embodies the spirit that built America.
Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She holds a master's degree in sociology and has worked as a social worker and has taught high school and college. She has lived in Boston and Des Moines and now divides her time between Sugar Land and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, was longlisted for the Orange Prize, was a finalist for the Orange Award for New Writers, and won the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters' Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction.
Host Robert Smith talks with Ann Weisgarber about her debut novel, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. It's set in the Badlands of South Dakota in the early 20th century and follows the fortunes of Rachel DuPree -- an African American homesteader -- and her growing family. More at NPR.org
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