Christina Meldrum received her Bachelor of Arts in religious studies and political science from the University of Michigan. After working in grassroots development in Africa, she earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She was an intern with the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland, and a litigator at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and is on the advisory board of the West African micro-financing organization, Women of the World Investments.
She is an award-winning author and an attorney. Her most recent novel is Amaryllis In Blueberry, published in 2011. Her first novel Madapple, published in the United State in 2008, was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award and the PEN USA Literary Award, an American Library Association Best Book, a Booklist Editor's Choice, aKirkus Best Book, a New York Public Library Best Book, a Vanity Fair Hot Type Pick and a Chicago Tribune Hot Summer Read. Madapple, translated into Italian, Japanese and German. Christina is now at work on her third novel, which will be published by Knopf.
Christina Meldrum's website
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A Conversation With Christina Meldrum about her first novel for adults, Amaryllis in Blueberry
This interview contains significant plot spoilers
Amaryllis in Blueberry takes place in Michigan and West Africa. What personal significance do these landscapes have for you? What appealed to you about using two such dramatically different locations in the novel?
I grew up in Michigan and continue to spend time there every summer. Although I no longer live in Michigan year-round, it will always be home to me at some level. Michigan represents family to me. It represents summers on the lake. It represents holidays. While the characters in Amaryllis in Blueberry are purely fictional, the Danish Landing is very real. My family has owned property on the Danish Landing for over a hundred years. Nearly all of my most poignant childhood memories take place on the Danish Landing. I remember my grandmother standing at the stove flipping blueberry pancakes. I remember exploring the Old Trail. The Danish Landing gave me my first campfire, my first sunburn, my first leech! To the degree any place on earth makes me feel grounded, the Danish Landing does. I imagine Yllis would find part of my soul ...
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