03/12/07 — Novelist to speak at WCC

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Novelist to speak at WCC

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 12, 2007 1:46 PM

Jeri Fitzgerald Board, a Johnston County native and author of the historical novel "The Bed She Was Born In," which includes Goldsboro's Gertrude Weil as a character, is scheduled to speak at two Wayne Community College events on March 22. Both are free and open to the public.

A Learn-at-Lunch program, sponsored by the college's Diversity/Global Education Committee, will be held at noon in Room 101 of the Walnut Building. Ms. Board will speak on "A Bird's Eye View of Small Town America During World War I."

Using her novel as text, she will explore life on the homefront during that war. Discussion will center on the social and political ramifications of preparing, deploying and providing support to the millions of men sent to France in 1917 and its subsequent effects on everyday life.

That evening at 7 in Moffatt Auditorium, the Foundation of the college will sponsor Ms. Board's talk on "Woman's Suffrage: A Southern Perspective." She will discuss the role of women during wartime, including the Civil War and World War I, as well as the effect on the expanding workforce during the Industrial Revolution.

The life and work of activists such as Gertrude Weil (1879-1971), president of the N.C. Federation of Women's Clubs and the N.C. Suffrage League will also be emphasized. Ms. Board will also be available after the evening lecture to sign copies of her book.

"The Bed She Was Born In," set in Bentonville, is the story of three black women and two white women whose close relationships from the Civil War through the women's suffrage movement challenge the myth of segregation in the South. It has received noteworthy praise and was featured in the September issue of Our State magazine. It was also nominated for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award in fiction and is a finalist for the 2007 Southern Independent Bookseller's Alliance Award for Fiction.