Join us for a reading by Sharyn Skeeter, author of Dancing with Langston and a reading by Judith Krummeck author of Old New Worlds: A Tale of Two Immigrants at City Lit Books on Thursday, February 27th, 2019 at 6:30 PM.
Dancing with Langston follows Carrie, a business manager who always wanted to be a dancer. She has two commitments today. She made a promise to her late father to move Cousin Ella, a former Paris café dancer, from her condemned Harlem apartment to a safe place. She’s also committed to catch a flight to Seattle with her husband for his new job. But Cousin Ella resists leaving the apartment where she’s had salons with Langston Hughes. She also has a mysterious gift that she wants Carrie to earn. If she does, a revelation about Carrie’s father and his cousin Langston Hughes will change her life.
Old New Worlds: A Tale of Two Immigrants is a work of creative nonfiction that is both timeless and timely. The narrative arc follows the life of Sarah Barker, who left England with her missionary husband in 1815 to minister to the indigenous Khoikhoi in pre-apartheid South Africa. Interwoven with this immigrant story, and looking at it through the lens of hindsight, is that of Sarah Barker’s great-great granddaughter, Judith Krummeck, whose own immigration from South Africa to America almost two hundred years later drew as many parallels as distinctions.
The intimate lives of these two women in their different times and places are thrown into relief against the larger social issues of colonialism and immigration, ethnic prejudice and genealogical roots, which are as urgent and universal today as they have ever been. The book is a combination of rigorous research, based on original diaries, letters, and archives, and of lyrical imaginings, as the author immerses herself in the pioneering life of her great-great grandmother and comes to love her as a soul mate.
Sharyn Skeeter is a writer, poet, editor, and educator. She was fiction/poetry/book review editor at Essence and editor in chief at Black Elegance magazine. She’s taught at Emerson College, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and community colleges. Sharyn Skeeter has written and published numerous magazine articles. Her poetry and fiction are in journals and anthologies. She lives in Seattle where she’s been involved with Humanities Washington and ACT Theatre. Her grandmother’s Langston family and their oral history of Langston Hughes inspired Dancing with Langston.
Judith Krummeck is a writer and broadcaster living in Baltimore. Prior to emigrating from South Africa to the United States, Judith was a professional actor and the arts editor for SAfm at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1998 she has been the evening drive time host for Baltimore’s classical music station WBJC, where she also hosts the monthly series Booknotes. Judith is the author of Beyond the Baobab, a collection of essays about her immigrant experience.