Contact Us Yes, apparently blue people existed in Kentucky and were treated no better than the blacks. When little Benjamin Benjy Stacy was born in a small hospital near Hazard, Kentucky, he was the picture of health. And last, there was the fun and interesting research on mules. A few months back, I came across a novel by Kentucky writer Kim Michele Richardson, “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.” Compulsively readable, Richardson’s novel tells the story of Cussy Carter, the last of the “Kentucky Blue” people, who takes a job with the Depression-era WPA Pack Horse Library project to deliver books into the remote mountains of eastern Kentucky. An attitude, a prejudice, an indescribable hate that still visits upon shores. They settled in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. This wonderful work of historical fiction is a page-turner of a story, so interesting and informative, about the tough and dangerous job of the pack horse librarians and blue people of the Appalachians. Librarians are lifelines for so many, giving us powerful resources to help us become empowered. Usually, when we think blue people in Kentucky, the first thing that comes to mind is University of Kentucky Wildcat fans… as they are known to dress in and paint their faces blue to show team spirit. It’s easy to feel the Blues’ pain deeply, particularly if you’ve gone through hardships in your own life. Advertise This novel is a love letter to books. Since Amina was new to the area and alone on the 300-acre preserve, I wanted to welcome her and drop off books and pie. Apr 10, 2019 By Kayode Oseh . To learn more, I visited with doctors and spoke with a hematologist. • Why the Fugate family has blue skin? ***Many thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark via NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review***. I love discovering new information from my fiction reads! From a childhood in foster care to a lifelong love for librarians, author Kim Michele Richardson shares the deep, personal connection to her new novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. “I never understood why other people thought my color, any color, needed fixing.”, “Being able to return to the books was a sanctuary for my heart. Still, I found the candle a commanding and curious induction of courtship. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. One of Martin and Elizabeth Fugate's blue boys, Zachariah, married his mother's sister. In fact an entire family from isolated Appalachia were blue. The Blue people of Kentucky were segregated in the 1930s much the same as those who had anything but white skin. See more ideas about kentucky, people, medical oddities. Combs was one of many of the so-called “blue men” of Kentucky, originally stemming from the French Fugate family which produced several generations of men possessing skin with a strange, pale blue coloration throughout the 1800s. ♥. I received an ARC of this one from Netgalley but it’s long since out and I am just catching up. I was moved by her compassion and wisdom and have not forgotten her to this day. A pack librarian in the Kentucky Appalachians, she delivers books to folks living in the hollers. It will make you feel like it was written hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The year, 1936. In 2016, I had the honor of meeting the talented Georgia playwright and writer Amina S. McIntyre, who was staying nearby at a Kentucky nature conservancy for an artist-in-residency program that I’d supported. DIETER: They were so happy to get a book… • When little Benjamin “Benjy” Stacy was born in a small hospital near Hazard, Kentucky, he was the picture of health. She was socially isolated, treated like an outcast. As a foster child in 1970, I remember going to my first library one lonely summer and checking out a book with the help of a librarian who wisely informed me that I could take home more than one. Martin Fugate came to Troublesome Creek (near Hazard) from France in 1820 and… well… he happened to be blue. Living in a backwoods, one-room log house, life was a struggle for the nineteen year old and her pa, a coal miner. Glad you loved it, too. She was born with a rare genetic condition, and her skin has always been tinged an allover deep blue. From the beginning I adored Cussy or Bluet as she is called by some. I grew up under the grinding heels of poverty, spending my first decade in a rural Kentucky orphanage, and then on to foster care and beyond, to finding myself homeless at age 14. Years ago, I stumbled across these heroic librarians of the Great Depression and the rare blue-skinned Kentuckians, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Pa lit a "courting candle", intent upon making sure Cussy "will knot". Not myth or legend; The Blue People of Kentucky were an isolated enclave of Appalachian people who lived with an embarrassing skin discoloration until a young hematologist took notice and found a solution. Kim Michele Richardson. You Learn Something New In Every Book. Refresh and try again. I’ve written about the blue people in nearly every edition of my human genetics textbook. So blue, in fact, that his skin was the deep purple color of a plum. This feature of a blue skin shade is with the Fugate family who were of French Huguenot descent, with the original immigrant ancestor coming over from France in about 1820. This is depression era, 1930' and people are struggling, making them look forward to the books, newspapers or magazines she brings. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. BookPage Behind the Book by 9781492671527 It’s 1935 and Cussy is a blue woman! There is a lot of poverty in this town and it was so heartbreaking. $25.99 Cussy is a nineteen year old and she is the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. This is especially true of the ‘Blue People of Kentucky’. Maybe even a little worse. I'm interested in hearing the opinion of someone who has read both The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. I listened to the audio and the narrator's voice was perfect for Cussy Mary. This novel is a love letter to books. Seven generations ago, in 1820, a French orphan named Martin Fugate who settled in this area of Kentucky brought in … I warmed to her and her amazing story right away. Thanks to President Roosevelt's NEW DEAL and WPA (Works Progress Administration) program, horse and mule riding librarians took to the remote backroads, more like overgrown trails through the woods and mud-packed steep mountains delivering and talking books. May 7th 2019 By SUSAN DONALDSON … Published Important and conducive to good writing and creating, so I thought! They can't wait for Cussy to show up with their books. There was such rich, magnificent history in the two, and I was surprised that I hadn’t seen them in novels—that neither had been given a large footprint in literary history. Tag: blue people of Kentucky. In the late 1950s, a hematologist named Martin Cawein from the University of Kentucky was fascinated by the stories of the blue Fugate family. Jan 25, 2014 - Explore Janice Jordan's board "Blue People of Kentucky", followed by 192 people on Pinterest. And this book would win, hands down, also because of the intriguing inclusion of one of the Blue People of Kentucky as the lead character. One of their sons, Levy, married a Ritchie girl and had eight children, one of them Luna. She has blue skin. Maybe even a little worse. MY MOM AND I WROTE AN E-BOOK! Richardson’s novel, which she began writing in 2016 and published in May, is a first-person narrative about a woman named Cussy Mary Carter, who has a rare genetic condition that makes her skin appear blue (based on the real-life blue-skinned people of Kentucky). Linking the Blue People to the 'Fallen' Angels and the "EL" God. When I finished this book, I thought it was such a good story and I immediately gave it four stars, but then I thought about it more as I was writing this. Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. The year is 1936 and the setting takes place in the Appalachian Mountains into the woods of Troublesome Creek. At a time when white was the only colour to be, these blue skinned people were shunned as 'coloured' and excluded from m The year, 1936. Apparently, their ancestral line began six generations earlier with a French orphan, Martin Fugate. Cussy, nicknamed "Bluet", was subjected to taunts, prejudice and continuous ridicule due to her cobalt-blue skin color. This book explores the life of Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry and is based on true life. Cussy Mary Carter is a 19-year-old from Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. Suitors would come and go wanting "a surety" that their progeny would not be blue. Isolation is the painful undertone of this book. The Blue People of Kentucky, also known as the Blue Fugates, have long been of scientific interest. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was inspired by the true, historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and From a childhood in foster care to a lifelong love for librarians, author Kim Michele Richardson shares the deep, personal connection to her new … He was also very, very blue. And then Sunday rolls around and off we go to worship an 'invisible' god and his hierarchy of equally invisible angels. She paused to point out an antique courting candle, which ended up becoming an important theme in my novel and inspired the first pages of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. The mountain man had many intriguing stories about living in a fire tower and generously shared them over a modest Christmas meal. After an embarrassingly painful fall, my arm suffered seven breaks, but the Pyrex survived with nary a scratch. Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to... To see what your friends thought of this book, Book Woman is a far better piece of writing and has the added aspect of the blue people. Meanwhile, much earlier in 1960, the stories of the blue people of Troublesome Creek caught the attention of a young haematologist Dr. Madison Cawein. He was also very, very blue. The Legend Of Kentucky’s Blue People Is Truly Bizarre People come in all types of colors and shades of colors, but they are normally red, brown, yellows, browns, pinks, black, and white. Submission Guidelines, © 1996-2021 BookPage and ProMotion, inc. | 2143 Belcourt Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212, 2021 preview: Most anticipated children's books, 2021 preview: Most anticipated mysteries & thrillers. Deep in the woods of Kentucky, a fiercely private family gave birth to blue-skinned children since the 1800s. But Cussy, also known as Bluet and the Book Woman, shares her love of reading by delivering books to the people in the hills who don’t have easy access to libraries or schools. He married a red-haired American named Elizabeth Smith with a very pale complexion. Cussy Mary was such a compelling and unique character in this novel set in depression-era Kentucky. As the story goes, Martin Fugate, a French orphan, settled on the banks of eastern Kentucky’s Troublesome Creek around 1820 to claim a land grant. I was saddened to find how the Blues were treated—how people shunned and shamed them instead of embracing them for their very uniqueness. It worked. Since neither parent had symptoms of methemoglobinemia, they were shocked and confused, and no one could offer an explanation. From the beginning I adored Cussy or Bluet as she is called by some. How wonderful the conversations must have been that took place around and over it. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Benjy Stacy was the latest child born in a long line of Fugates – the blue people of Kentucky – who had lived in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky for the past 197 years. I wanted to embrace their strengths and uniqueness in story. Martin and Elizabeth had seven children, four of whom had blue skin. Troublesome Creek......an almost misnomer of limited location to the backwoods of Kentucky. Mary is good people, generous and a fighter, and together with her old grey mule Junia delivers books, recipes, patterns and messages deep into the woods....even as she is being watched and hunted. In 1960, he decided to move near Troublesome Creek in the hopes to meet one of them some day. Her journeys are thrilling as she shares her passion with those. Her rare condition called methemoglobinemia caused decreased oxygenation in the blood producing blue skin. The people. Genealogy sites provide this story: Not myth or legend; The Blue People of Kentucky were an isolated enclave of Appalachian people who lived with an embarrassing skin discoloration until a young hematologist took notice and found a solution. Yes, apparently blue people existed in Kentucky and were treated no better than the blacks. In this novel, the author weaves together two interesting, well researched historical episodes from 1930s Kentucky to tell a fascinating and memorable story. Cawein had just started work at the University of Kentucky’s Lexington medical clinic. And a joy bolted free, lessening my own grievances, forgiving spent youth and dying dreams lost to a hard life, the hard land, and to folks’ hard thoughts and partialities.”, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2019). This book was beautifully written and researched. Very few people knew they even existed, until today. Books by Gemma Jun 10, 2019 6:00 pm June 10, 2019. And what a fascinating story it was. They eventually passed their unique characteristic from generation to generation, remaining largely isolated from the outside world. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Their life is so tough. There was a small, isolated clan that suffered from a rare genetic condition called congenital methemoglobinemia. There are some stories behind this unusual genetic condition in that Kentucky clan. This title is a lure in itself for any book loving folks. Since reading the picture book THAT BOOK WOMAN by Heather Henson a few years ago, my interest in the pack-horse librarian project has lead me to listen to Jojo Moyes's THE GIVER OF STARS and now recently, Richardson's THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK. Unbeknownst to the couple, they were coincidentally both carriers of a recessive gene (met-H) that caused methemoglobinemia, which can tint the skin of sufferers blue. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published The other one is fluffy, which is fine if you like that sort. Their life is so tough. Cussy Mary Carter was arguably the last "blue skinned person" in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. Cussy is a pack horse librarian and she delivers books to people that live in the mountains of Kentucky. ISBN Which book would you recommend more? She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. Digital • Eventually I found one: a small curiosity to be admired, more decor than practical. That visit with Amina led me to look for a courting candle. Because part of the blue people tale is about plagiarizing, I’ll plagiarize myself: “A rare but very noticeable condition of abnormal hemoglobin affects the “blue people of Troublesome Creek”. I had every intention of riding one until I fell off the mountain. Sadly, there isn’t a cool or exciting wolf or bear-that-chased-me story to be had here. Some cannot read, so she reads to them, some are just learning to read, and some just look st the picture She is in all ways won. It's 1936 Kentucky when we first meet 19 year old Cussy Mary Carter and her pa who desperately wants to see her hitched and cared for....because he promised her ma....because of his black lung illness from working the mines. Page Contents. Little did they know that their union would create shades o… The other one is fluffy, which is fine if you like that sort of thing, but Book Woman is haunting and unforgettable and brilliant. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Life was inhospitable to everyone in the Kentucky bills of 1936, but even more so for the Blue people. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was inspired by the true, historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse Library Service, which spanned the 1930s and early ’40s during eastern Kentucky’s most violent era. As the story goes, Martin Fugate, a French orphan, settled on the banks of eastern Kentucky's Troublesome Creek around 1820 to claim a land grant. Some cannot read, so she reads to them, some are just learning to read, and some just look st the picture She is in all ways wonderful. Benjy descended from the Stacy line. Library As I picked up the phone to chat, I immediately lit the old courter, hoping for the perfect “intended” for my novel. This is depression era, 1930' and people are struggling, making them look forward to the books, newspapers or magazines she brings. 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