After writer Samia Serageldin lost her mother, she traveled to Cairo to go through her belongings and remember the woman she thought she knew intimately. Yet when she read through journals her mother had kept as a young bride and throughout her life, Serageldin realized there was much she had never considered or understood about her. Along with co-editor Lee Smith, Serageldin put a prompt out to Southern writers she admired: Discover what you know, or do not know, about your mother. An anthology of essays aptly named “Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood From the New South” (University of North Carolina Press/2019) is the result.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Serageldin about the collection and about her own changed perception of her mother. He also speaks with Michael Malone, a celebrated author who contributed an essay on his own mother to the book. Serageldin, Smith and other local authors whose essays appear in the collection will read on Wednesday, May 8 at the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough beginning at 5 p.m. A slideshow of the authors and their mothers can be viewed here.