WNBA-Charlotte’s Book Club, featuring Great Group Reads picks from National Reading Group Month


NEXT MEETING APRIL 1 — 7 PM at Panera near SouthPark!!

We have a terrific book club in our chapter!  

As our reading guide, we’re taking the list of 2013 Great Group Reads titles recommended for book clubs during WNBA’s National Reading Group Month.   

9780802120663 WASH

 Our book for April is…   

by Margaret Wrinkle
Atlantic Monthly Press

“A marvel. By turns grim and lyrical, heart-wrenching and hopeful.” 
People (four stars, People Pick)

“In this deeply researched, deeply felt debut novel, documentarian Wrinkle aims a sure pen at a crucial moment following America’s War of Independence. . . . The novel well evokes the tragedy not only of [its] lovers’ untenable positions, but also that of their master and his fragile country.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A moving and heart-rending novel.” —Kirkus Reviews

Margaret Wrinkle is a writer, filmmaker, and visual artist born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama.  A seventh-generation Southerner, she always knew she had slaveholding ancestors.  But she was shocked when she heard a family rumor that one of them may have engaged in the breeding of enslaved people.  Determined to know more, she set out to discover the truth about this long-buried historical practice.  Her journey led to the writing of her debut novel, WASH (Atlantic Monthly Press; February 2012), a haunting and intimate story of owner and owned.

Despite extensive research, Wrinkle was never able to find any proof of the veracity of the family rumor.  And slave breeding is such a controversial topic that finding sources willing to even mention the possibility proved difficult.  Facing a dearth of historical evidence, her imagination took over, and she found herself coming again and again to the question: what if it had actually happened? What would that mean for all involved? 

In WASH, Wrinkle begins with Richardson, a conflicted slaveholding patriarch and Revolutionary War veteran struggling to stay afloat in a world he no longer understands.  Then she found an interview with one survivor of slavery who described a man forced to work as what was then called “a traveling negro.”  As she pictures this tall, isolated, and difficult man being taken to a distant plantation where, nine months later, many babies will be born, the character of Wash emerges as Richardson’s breeding sire.  The first member of his family born into slavery, Wash gets drawn into a power struggle with Richardson and must fight to hold onto the West African spiritual traditions inherited from his shamanic mother.  Despair and disease lead him to a potent enslaved healer named Pallas, and their delicate love story unfolds against this tumultuous backdrop.

By turns harrowing and redemptive, this boundary-crossing novel of American slavery carries the reader from the heart of whiteness into the center of ancestral African spirituality and back again until these two contrasting cultures shimmer together.  Questioning all differences of blood and tradition, erasing even the line between the living and the dead, WASH offers new insights into our continuing racial dilemmas.  


Our meetings take place on the first Tuesday of each month, 7 PM, at the Panera on Fairview near SouthPark — see dates below. We have chosen books to take us through to next October when there will be a new Great Group Reads list released. 



 Here’s what we are reading in 2013-2014:

November 5:  The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper Perennial)

December 3:  Margot by Jillian Cantor (Riverhead Books)

NO January meeting

February 4:  Big Brother by Lionel Shriver (Harper)

March 4:  How It All Began by Penelope Lively (Penguin Books)

April 1:  Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Atlantic Monthly Press)

May 6:  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Hogarth)

June 3:  The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell (Amy Einhorn Books)

NO July meeting

August 5:  Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books)

September 2:  Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books)

October 7:  The House Girl by Tara Conklin (William Morrow)


Tuesday, April 8 — Women Writers of the American South — Don’t miss this fascinating lecture by William Ferris!

April 8 — Tuesday – 

Women Writers of the American South — STORIED SOUTH Cover

A lecture by William Ferris, author of


Tuesday evening, April 8, 
6:00 – 7:30 PM, 

Morrison Regional Library — Community Room, 
7015 Morrison Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28211  

WNBA-Charlotte is delighted to welcome Professor William Ferris, author of THE STORIED SOUTH: VOICES OF WRITERS AND ARTISTS (UNC Press) to our April meeting!

Professor Ferris will focus his lecture on women writers and artists, including Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, and Maud Gatewood. His presentation will be highlighted by his videos, audio recordings, and photos from his interviews with these women.

The Storied South features the voices—by turn searching and honest, coy and scathing—of twenty-six of the most luminous artists and thinkers in the American cultural firmament, from Eudora Welty, Pete Seeger, and Alice Walker to William Eggleston, Bobby Rush, and C. Vann Woodward. Masterfully drawn from one-on-one interviews conducted by renowned folklorist William Ferris over the past forty years, the book reveals how storytelling is viscerally tied to southern identity and how the work of these southern or southern-inspired creators has shaped how Americans think and talk about the South.

The Storied South offers a unique, intimate opportunity to sit at the table with these men and women and learn how they worked and how they perceived their art. The volume also features 45 of Ferris’s striking photographic portraits of the speakers and a CD and a DVD of original audio and films of the interviews.

 William Ferris Author Photo


William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris is the author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, among other books, and coeditor of the award-winning Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.



Join us for our Spring “Meet the Authors” Evening with four regional authors — Monday, March 10, 7 – 9 PM —


Spring “Meet the Authors”
Evening with
Regional Authors

Monday, March 10, 7 – 9 PM

Park Road Books 
Park Road Shopping Center 
4139 Park Road, Charlotte 28209

Our March meeting will feature authors from the Carolinas and Tennessee, including……

Sonja Condit, STARTER HOUSE (William Morrow Paperbacks) 
          more info:  http://www.sonjacondit.com/

Amy Greene, LONG MAN (Alfred A. Knopf)   A SIBA “Okra Pick” 
          more info:  http://amygreeneauthor.com/

Drew Perry, KIDS THESE DAYS (Algonquin Books)   
          more info:  http://www.drewperry.net/

Barbara Claypole White, THE IN-BETWEEN HOUR (Harlequin MIRA)   A SIBA “Okra Pick”
          more info:  http://www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com/

Our special guests will join us for an evening of conversation and refreshments. Each author will speak briefly about her book, and there will be plenty of opportunity for one-on-one questions and discussions. Park Road Books will sell books.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet these authors and get signed copies of their new books!

 Share this flyer with fellow book lovers!  Bring your friends and family members!  This event is open to the public.

WNBA Book Club meets TODAY, March 4!

Join us at 7 PM at Panera on Fairview near Southpark!  



Our book this month is …….

How It All Began by Penelope Lively (Penguin Books)   




When Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events.

In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed.

Funny, humane, touching, sly and sympathetic, HOW IT ALL BEGAN is a brilliant sleight of hand from an author at the top of her game.