Before Women Had Wings

Paperback $16.00

Apr 22, 1997 | 304 Pages

  • Paperback $16.00

    Apr 22, 1997 | 304 Pages

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Author Essay

Told through the eyes of 9-year-old Bird Jackson,  BEFORE WOMEN HAD WINGS is a poignant tale of resilience and triumph in the face of abuse and poverty.  When you read it, you are somewhat glad that it’s fiction because you hate to think that a child could be treated so awfully.  

I discovered, however, that this book is — unfortunately — based on a true story.  The author Connie May Fowler grew up poor and fatherless in St. Augustine, Florida.  She and her sister were frequently targets of their mother’s alcoholic rage.  As a child, Connie sought refuge from her awful circumstances through words, first through reading and then through writing.  Connie has said that for her writing was a kind of salvation.  You sense this in her writing, because her tone never comes off as being the least bit bitter.

After reading her book, I was dying to meet her.  I had seen her on the Oprah Winfrey Show, when she talked about her book, which Oprah made into a Oprah Winfrey Presents movie on ABC-TV (in which Oprah and Ellen Barkin starred).  She seemed so sweet, you just couldn’t imagine anyone hurting her.  I finally got the opportunity to hear her read from her book when she appeared at the Miami Book Fair last fall.  She is a marvelous reader!  If you ever have the chance to hear her, please go.  Her voice has this wonderful lyrical quality, and she has a true appreciation for words and their meaning.  

I feel privileged to know Connie, and I can’t wait for her to write her next book, since I’m now a true fan!

— Jennifer Richards
Ballantine Books Publicity

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