December 14, 2017: For Immediate Release
A unique anthology featuring local female writers has just been released. Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting is a collection of fifteen real-life stories about women before they were mothers, written as them in real-time by their current-day descendants.
Edited by Saratoga County resident, Patricia A. Nugent, the project was inspired by regrets, realized at her mother’s funeral, that she knew so little about her mother’s life before she was her mother. Her friends had similar experiences. Why does it surprise offspring that their mothers had lives before we came along? she wondered.
To help others avoid the same regret and to inspire families to share personal histories, she wrote a successful grant to Saratoga Arts for a Community Arts Grant from the NYS Council on the Arts, which kick-started the project. According to the book’s Forward, “The Call for Submissions reaped a wide-range of stories about foremothers’ victories and defeats, hopes and disappointments, connections and alienations. Stories of ordinary lives contending with war, racism, sexism, classism, disease, poverty, and degradation. Ordinary lives infused with determination and defiance, resilience and resistance.”
In addition to deeply evocative first-person accounts, Before They Were Our Mothers offers readers a personal glimpse of world events from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Their stories take readers around the world, including several U.S. states.
Nine Capital District writers are included in the collection, eager to continue the project by sharing their foremothers’ journeys, thereby encouraging others to do the same. A formal launch is scheduled for January 20 at Saratoga Arts on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
Nugent’s ongoing vision is that this book will be a catalyst for storytelling and truth-telling within families. “Ask now, before it’s too late,” she cautions. “You won’t be able to Google the story of Grandma’s first heartbreak.”
The book is available at several local shops and online. For more information about purchasing, stocking books, readings, or presentations, email B4TheyWereOurMothers@gmail.com or visit www.journalartspress.com.