Lincolnshire, 1537. Amid England's religious turmoil, fifteen-year-old Anne Askew is forced to take her dead sister's place in an arranged marriage. The witty, well-educated gentleman's daughter is determined to free herself from her abusive husband, harsh in-laws, and the cruel strictures of her married life. But this is the England of Henry VIII, where religion and politics are dangerously entangled. A young woman of Anne's fierce independence, Reformist faith, uncanny command of plainspoken scripture cannot long escape official notice, or censure.
Set during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush, FIRE IN BEULAH centers on the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside, an oil wildcatter's high-strung wife, and Graceful, her enigmatic black maid. Their juxtaposing stories-and those of others close to them-unfold against a volatile backdrop of oil-boom opulence, fear, hatred, and lynchings that climax in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
Nine linked essays spotlighting the complex history of Askew's home state. From the Trail of Tears to the Tulsa Race Massacre to the Murrah Federal Building bombing, the author examines Oklahoma's narrative as a microcosm of our national saga. Yet no matter our location, she argues, America must own the full truth of our history if the wounds of division in our nation are ever to heal.
A richly comic yet heartfelt novel about people who want to do right and still do wrong, and people who do right in spite of themselves, as they try to help, protect, and provide for those they love most when a new state immigration law threatens an ordinary American family and throws a close-knit community into turmoil
Harlan Singer, a gifted harmonica-playing troubadour, shows up in the Thompson family’s yard one morning. He steals their hearts with his music, and their daughter with his charm. Soon he and his fourteen-year-old bride, Sharon, are on the road, two more hobos of the Great Depression, hitchhiking and hopping freights in search of an old man and the settlement of Harlan’s long-standing debt.
"A triumph of scholarship and imagination...a powerful novel in a mesmerizing prose out of the Old Testament by way of Faulkner. Askew is a prodigious talent." --Newsday
Each story in STRANGE BUSINESS is a small epiphany, exquisitely wrought. Askew orchestrates her many voices with the assurance of a master composer. But although the author’s technical skill will take your breath away, it’s ultimately her warm heart that makes STRANGE BUSINESS a small masterpiece.” Diana Postlethwaite, Washington Post Book World