Aug. 27, 2003
Lucedale native Carolyn Haines has written numerous works of fiction. Now she has written her first nonfiction book, "My Mother's Witness: The Peggy Morgan Story."
The book is a story of triumph.
As a teenage bride in 1964, Peggy Albritton thought marriage to Lloyd Morgan would deliver her from the poverty, neglect and abuse of her childhood in rural Mississippi.
Handsome and older, Lloyd Morgan was the provider and caregiver that her father, Gene, wasn't. And above all, Peggy didn't allow herself and her children to be victimized by violence like she and her mother had been at Gene's hands.
However, Peggy was exposed to racial violence in a South embroiled in the civil rights movement. Peggy also heard white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith confess to the shooting of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
Peggy finds the strength to deliver herself from her demons. She served as a witness for the prosecution at Beckwith's retrial; Beckwith was convicted of murdering Evers 31 years after the crime.
In one triumphant moment, Peggy defied the cycle of fear and violence that had marked her life and her society for decades.
Haines also has written a series of mysteries set in the Mississippi Delta. Her latest is "Crossed Bones" (Delacorte 2003) and her last short story appeared in the Algonquin collection, "Christmas Stores from the South."
She worked for 10 years as a journalist in the 1970s. She currently resides in Alabama and is a past recipient of an Alabama State Arts Council writing fellowship.
Book: "My Mother's Witness: The Peggy Morgan Story"
Publisher: River City Publishing
How to order: Available in stores
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