Elizabeth H. Winthrop biography

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Elizabeth H. Winthrop

Elizabeth H. Winthrop

Elizabeth H. Winthrop Biography

Elizabeth H. Winthrop is the author of three novels: Fireworks, December, and, The Why of Things She was the recipient of the Schaeffer Writing Fellowship at the University of California at Irvine where she earned her MFA. She lives with her husband and daughter in Massachusetts, where she is Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing at Endicott College.



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Interview

Elizabeth H. Winthrop, author of The Mercy Seat, discusses race, racism, and injustice in the Jim Crow era South.

What drew you to write about the Jim Crow South? How and why did you choose this specific time and region of the country?

I lived in Savannah, Georgia for ten years before moving to Massachusetts, and during that time I took a lot of roadtrips through the south, which became familiar and close to my heart. There's something timeless and frank about the landscape that haunts me, and I knew, when I moved back north, that I wanted to set a novel in that world, if only to spend time there in my imagination since I was no longer there in person.

I didn't know exactly what sort of novel I wanted to write, nor when or where it would take place, until I heard a Radio Diaries podcast about Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair. I started researching and came across the photograph of a crowd gathered outside a jail where an execution was set to take place. I was struck not only by the fact of the gathering, which disturbed me, but by the faces of the people who had gathered, and I began to wonder who they all were. I started thinking of the particular event the photograph captured in human rather than abstract terms, as individuals with families and history and memories. I still wasn't thinking about "story," yet,...

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Books by this Author

Books by Elizabeth H. Winthrop at BookBrowse
The Mercy Seat jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Elizabeth H. Winthrop but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Cynthia Bond

    Cynthia Bond

    Cynthis Bond has taught writing to homeless and at-risk youth throughout Los Angeles for more than fifteen years. She attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, then moved to New York and attended ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Mercy Seat

    Try:
    Ruby
    by Cynthia Bond

  • Eleanor Henderson

    Eleanor Henderson

    Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, where she earned her MFA. She is the author of two novels: The Twelve-Mile Straight (Ecco, 2017) and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Mercy Seat

    Try:
    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

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Book Discussion
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