book review june 2021

I had the pleasure of meeting the writer Memphian Susan Cushman recently to discuss her new book “John and Mary Margaret.”

It’s a novel based on historical facts about life and events in the late 1960s. The book covers five decades of civil rights events in Mississippi and Memphis.

You will immediately recognize some of the events that took place at Ole Miss and other colleges around the country.

Cushman’s story involves a young girl from Jackson, Miss., who enrolls as a freshman at Ole Miss in Oxford.

Mary Margaret, who is white, comes from an upper middleclass family in Jackson. When she arrives at Ole Miss, she pledges a sorority and immediately begins to participate in campus social life.

Also at Ole Miss is John, an African-American student from Memphis. He is following his dream to study law and become an attorney in Memphis.

The two share a love of literature. What happens when that affection leads to romance?

John and Mary Margaret’s story will challenge the status quo and give us another opportunity to examine our history and our hearts.

The launch of Cushman’s novel will be a virtual event hosted by Novel Books on June 4 at 6 p.m. on ZOOM. Cushman will talk with Jeffrey Blount, author and former director at NBC News in New York.

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