Author talk examines role rural women play



ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Southwest Harbor Public Library will host Gigi Georges, author of “Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen History of Rural America,” on the lawn of St. John’s Church across the street from the library at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19.  

In her book, part-time Southwest Harbor resident Georges honors the lives of five young women and the role rural women play in their communities. 

The five central women in the book discover, as they reach adulthood, that there is much to celebrate in “the valley of the overlooked.” Their stories remind one of the value of timeless ideals: strength of family and community, reverence for nature’s rule, dignity in cracked hands and muddied shoes and the enduring power of home. 

The book’s message has drawn national attention, being featured in a segment on Good Morning America and articles in TIME and Bloomberg. It has also been featured on TV, radio and newspapers throughout Maine, sitting atop the Portland Press Herald’s nonfiction bestseller list for much of this past year. 

“By widening my lens over several years in the Downeast Washington County community,” said Georges, “what I discovered debunks the notion that young people, in particular, have to flee to succeed. Yes, there are significant challenges. But there is also much to celebrate.” 

Georges turned to narrative nonfiction writing after a career in politics, public service and academia. A former White House special assistant to the president and U.S. Senate state director, she has taught political science at Boston College, served as a program director for the Harvard Kennedy School, and has been a managing director of The Glover Park Group, which is a national public affairs firm. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she lives with her husband and 10-year-old daughter in New Hampshire and Downeast Maine. 

This program is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. 

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