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Transcript of Ruth White
sites and stories of the
Under Ground Railroad.While pursuming a Master's degree
at the University of Kentucky,
she dicovered how whidley curltures can range either
side of a porous border.These influences are in the book shades of colors.She now lives
in Socorro,New Mexico. Some books by Ruth White. ~A Question of Guidance
~Sweet Creek Holler
~Belle Prater's Boy
~Buttermilk Hill ~Sweet Creek Holler
~Belle Prater's Boy
~Buttermilk Hill Cole: What made you want to write Sweet Creek Holler?
White: Well, I wanted to write, and I guess everybody wants to tell his own story. It's catharsis, you know. Though I experienced many good and unique things growing up, I had a very painful childhood. My father was a coal miner, and when I was six years old, he was killed in a brawl. He was shot in the back, and the man who killed him was sent to prison for twenty years. All that's in Sweet Creek Holler. When that happened, we had to leave the coal company because only coal miners could live in the camp houses. We moved to Loggy Bottom where we lived a year. And then my mother found a little house down near Grundy -- Little Prater. When I was in the eighth grade, my mother, four sisters, and I moved to Michigan. It was just a big plunge we took. My mother felt that as long as we lived where we did, we had no chance of ever having anything or getting an education. But I only attended the eighth grade there. I was so homesick for the hills that I went back and lived with an aunt and uncle near Grundy while I went to high school. They were very good to me, but there was a lot of pain in my childhood, and writing about it helps. It's like psychotherapy. An interview with Ruth White Cole: State of mind?
White: I was divorced from my second husband in Georgia, and I sort of hit the bottom there; it was like the dark night of the soul. I thought there is nothing in my life that works. My relationships don't work. I'm financially destitute; I don't like my job. Something has to change. I've always been spiritual, so I prayed about it. I had always been interested in A.R.E. and Edgar Cayce. I thought I didn't have anything to lose, so I decided I was going to A.R.E. And it was the second best move I ever made. The first best move I ever made was going to college. I've really loved it here in Virginia Beach. After I came here, everything just seemed to take off, and that's when I really started writing. Now I'm writing something all the time, and I write for Venture Inward, the A.R.E. magazine. When I'm not writing, I like to walk in the park with my golden retriever, listen to books on tape, and watch movies. Away from home, I like to visit schools and talk to young people about books and writing. My daughter usually travels with me, and we have a great time together. Her pet Some of her old jobs Eventually I became a teacher and then a school librarian. Working in the public schools among adolescents fueled my desire to write, and I suppose the age group I worked with helped me determine that I wanted to write for them instead of for adults or smaller children. I wrote my first book, The City Rose, based on an experience that happened when I taught seventh and eighth grade in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina. The schools had recently been integrated, and I had two black girls in one of my classes. I noticed that whenever we went to the library, they didn’t check out any books. Finally, they told me that it was because they couldn’t find any books about black children. So I decided to write one. I started writing at a very young age. I remember trying to write stories before I was even able to put long sentences together. It was just something I felt compelled to do, probably because I loved stories so much. We had no television because my family was very poor; my mother was raising my three sisters and me with very little money. So we read aloud and enjoyed each other’s company. Young ruth white One of the awards she won Author Ruth White, 1997 recipient of the Newberry Honor for Belle Prater's Boy, often deals in her books with the lives of poor and working class children living in the coal mining towns of Appalachia in the 1950s. Her work is certainly influenced by her own life experiences, especially so in her most recent offering, Little Audrey). Here is a picture of Ruth White by:Justin Crouch
and Casey Middleton I stayed with an aunt and uncle when I was a teenager, and finished school at Grundy High School in southwest Virginia. My teachers encouraged me to go to college, and I received a small scholarship from a local women's club. With that, a government grant, some help from my church and work scholarships, I managed to get through Montreat-Anderson Junior College in Black Mountain, North Carolina, where I met my husband. After my marriage, I finished my last two years at Pfeiffer College in Misenheimer, North Carolina. THE END!!!