A New Anthology
Spiritual Autographs: Southern Women Tell Their Stories is a collection of 30 personal stories told by women whose spiritual experiences vary.
Most of these women grew up Baptist or Methodist and a few were nurtured in Jewish, Catholic, and Native American traditions. Some stayed within those structures, while others moved into new spheres. All have searched, struggled, and found their spiritual lives are integral to who they are. Their stories are grouped in the book into four modes of expression which are particularly suited to the South: oral storytelling, testimony, dialogue, crafted autobiography. To give you a flavor of the book sample story titles are listed below under the four mode titles.
From the Porch- As if we are sitting on the porch shelling peas with them, these writers tell their stories with verbal cadence and full description of place. Sample titles: Christ and a Griot; Lessons from Grandma Grace; Winterbourne.
Before the People- We can almost see these women stand to testify or share their particular experiences in church or in a 12-step group. Sample titles: Out of the Void; I Shall Not Want; Propelled into the Unexpected.
Across the Table- Over a cup of coffee, dialogue deepens as each of these women search their lives for answers during an interview. Sample titles: Like a Fire In My Bones; Unknowing; Becoming an Amen Sister.
For Those Who Come After- These writers mold the raw materials of their lives into images that express spiritual truth in order to leave beind their authentic autographs. Sample titles: Quilts and Moonflowers; Psalm of Grace; Quest in Time and Memory.
Writers: Mary Carter Smith, Eula Williams, Njoki McElroy, Lois Rippetoe, Mary Elizabeth Thunder, Merah Madge McCullough, Shirley Boykins, Donna Suter, Lee Merrill Byrd, Ann Baker, Kelly Hunt Lyon, Patricia LaVigne, Betty Thrall, Catherine Chapman, Fran Birmingham, Ruth Powell, Mary Lou Santillan Baert, Valerie Sayers, Dottie Fitchett, Gerry Harrison, Barbara Lee, Susan Purtle, Sarah Hays, Twyla Gill Wright, Jane Purtle, Lou Halsell Rodenberger, Karen Hendley, Lisa Ely, Shirley Matthews, Mary Brown.
***Sandra Slaughter Barnett, creative writing teacher at Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas, writes:
There was excitement in the few, culturally or theologically new (for me) journeys like Mary Elizabeth Thunder's, "Lessons From Grandmother Grace" a Lakota Sundancer's story.......
Spiritual Autographs may stimulate you to trace your own story, and it is also ideal for a gift or for group study.