The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia

By Mary Helen Stefaniak
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393063103, 342pp.)

Publication Date: September 2010

List Price: $24.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the September 2010 Indie Next List
“Eleven year old Gladys Cailiff tells the story of the teacher that turned her small town upside down. In 1938, Grace Spivey came to town as a WPA hired teacher. She believed in field trips, costumes, and reading aloud from The Thousand Nights and a Night. But the real trouble started when she decided to revive the annual town festival. Great storytelling is alive! The reader will delight in the characters (and the camels) in this tale of the depression era South.”
-- Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT


Description
Narrator Gladys Cailiff is eleven years old in 1938 when a new, well-traveled young schoolteacher turns a small Georgia town upside down. Miss Grace Spivey believes in field trips, Arabian costumes, and reading aloud from her ten-volume set of The Thousand Nights and a Night. The real trouble begins when she decides to revive the annual town festival as an exotic Baghdad bazaar. Miss Spivey transforms the lives of everyone around her: Gladys's older brother Force (with his movie-star looks), her pregnant sister May (a gifted storyteller herself), and especially the Cailiffs' African American neighbor, young Theo Boykin, whose creative genius becomes the key to a colorful, hidden history of the South. Populated by unforgettable characters including three impressive camels The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia rides a magic carpet from a segregated schoolroom in Georgia to the banks of the Tigris (and back again) in an entrancing feat of storytelling.



About the Author
Mary Helen Stefaniak is the prize-winning author of The Turk and My Mother, Self Storage and Other Stories, and The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia. She lives in Omaha and Iowa City.
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