Award-winning novelist Dori Sanders will give a reading at Converse College Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall. Her appearance is free and open to the public.
“I will be using a conversational format at Converse,” said Sanders. “I will talk about my life on the family farm, my life as a writer and my literary works. As I share the geography of the landscape of my life as a farmer, writer and African-American woman living in the South, I will read excerpts from my first novel “Clover.” This will be followed by a question and answer session, and afterwards, I will be available for a book signing opportunity.”
“Clover” was the assigned reading for the 2006 Converse Orientation Reading Program for incoming students.
Sanders is from Filbert, S.C., a tiny community in York County, near Rock Hill, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C. Her family operates one of the oldest African-American farms in the region. Her father, a former sharecropper, bought the land around 1915. The farm produces fruits and vegetables and specializes in growing Georgia Bells and Elberta peaches which are sold at an old fashioned roadside stand.
“Clover” and Sanders’ second novel, “Her Own Place,” offer the experience of growing up in the rural South. “Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking” offers the taste of growing up in the rural South detailing the family recipes and stories told at the peach stand.
The eighth of ten children, Sanders grew up on her family’s peach farm in Filbert. Working on the farm has had a lasting impact on the writer. Writing is her way of passing down family history to the next generation. “I guess I started writing because I wanted to leave something for my nieces and nephews, as a way to tell them what life was like on the farm, because I know when my generation passes, this farm will pass out of our family,” she said.
She received the Lillian Smith Award for “Clover,” and it has been translated into numerous languages. “Her Own Place” is about a woman who buys a farm, works it, raises a family and moves to town. Protagonist, “Mae Lee represents all women who struggled after World War II,” Sanders said.