Susan Rebecca White-We Are All Good People Here

Susan Rebecca White

Bio

Susan Rebecca White is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, Bound South, A Soft Place to Land, and A Place at the Table. A graduate of Brown University and the MFA program at Hollins University, Susan has taught creative writing at Hollins, Emory, SCAD, and Mercer University, where she was the Ferrol A. Sams, Jr. Distinguished Chair of English Writer-in-Residence. An Atlanta native, Susan lives in Atlanta with her husband and son.

Sessions

Nevertheless, She Persisted

In Dragon Lady and We Are All Good People Here, privileged but unorthodox 20th century women counter the expectations people have for them and get into "trouble" for "good" causes. It's a daily paradox in our own time as much as it was during the decades of these fictional settings--how does a person take meaningful political action in ways that can actually be effective and do not widen our political divide or otherwise do harm? There are consequences of trying to effect social change when ideology gets in the way. Yeats comes to mind in the reading of these two novels: "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

Julia Franks

Julia Franks is an ed-tech entrepreneur here in Atlanta. Her web application, (the) Loose Canon, helps middle and high schools organize, track, and energize independent reading and book clubs. She is also a novelist whose first book, Over the Plain Houses, won a half dozen awards, including The Townsend Prize for best Georgia fiction.

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We Are All Good People Here

From the author of A Place at the Table and A Soft Place to Land, comes a gripping, multigenerational story inspired by true events that follows two best friends through their political awakenings in the turbulent 1960s—and the repercussions of their actions after their daughters encounter the secrets they thought they had buried long ago.

Eve Whalen, privileged child of an old-money Atlanta family, meets Daniella Gold in the fall of 1962, on their first day at Belmont College. Paired as roommates, the two become fast friends. Daniella, raised in Georgetown by a Jewish father and a Methodist mother, has always felt caught between two worlds. But at Belmont, her bond with Eve allows her to finally experience a sense of belonging. That is, until the girls’ expanding awareness of the South’s caste system forces them to question everything they thought they knew about the world and their places in it.

Eve veers toward radicalism—a choice pragmatic Daniella cannot fathom. After a tragedy, Eve returns to Daniella for help in beginning anew, hoping to shed her past. But the past isn’t so easily buried, as Daniella and Eve discover when their daughters are caught up in secrets meant to stay hidden.

Spanning just over thirty years of American history, from the twilight of Kennedy’s Camelot to the beginning of Bill Clinton’s presidency, We Are All Good People Here perfectly resonates with today’s fraught American political zeitgeist and asks us: why do good intentions too often lead to tragic outcomes? Can we separate our political choices and our personal morals? And is it possible to truly bury our former selves and escape our own history?


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