In an interview about her new book, Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys describes an object that sent her on a wild and wonderful chase. She received a pair of vintage opera glasses as a birthday present. Still in its original case, the glasses were bought from a New Orleans jeweler, and engraved with the words from her friend Willie Robert. Sepetys is madly in love with history (her brilliant debut novel, Between Shades of Gray, is a very intimate look at a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl's experiences in one of Stalin's labor camps) and so she hired a researcher to try to find more information about the glasses. Willie, it turns out, was a brothel owner from the French Quarter in New Orleans. Sepetys even learned that the jeweler who sold the glasses ended up poisoned to death after eating a dozen oysters in the Quarter. As Sepetys says in the interview, "My fascination with New Orleans was born...
Author Ruta Sepetys describes the inspiration behind her book and how New Orleans fired up her imagination in the beautiful video below:
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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