Meet Caroline Ailanthus, author of To Give a Rose, on July 27th from 6:30-8:30pm.
To Give a Rose
Artist Sophie Smith “listens” to fossils to seek inspiration, but her latest subjects, a pair of ape-like human ancestors millions of years old, could give her something else as well. Never has she needed a clear perspective on human descent so much, for now she is unexpectedly pregnant. As Sophie struggles to make art and make a decision, her speculations frame and introduce the real stories of seventy-five years in a proto-human community, the “foot-ape” Tribe of the River Confluence. There is the community founder who must make a terrible choice to reclaim her power and her dignity. There is the man who defends his family from famine in ways at once human and beastly. There is the woman who crosses a mountain range for a chance at saving her children. And more. Sophie can wonder, draw solace, and make decisions about her own legacy, but she cannot know these stories. She cannot learn why one of her fossil subjects is holding the fossil of a flower.
Caroline Ailanthus grew up in Delaware and returns there often. Over the years, she has served on trail maintenance crews, managed back-country tent sites, collected data on nesting birds, and eventually became a full-time free-lance writer and editor. To Give a Rose is her first novel, but she has also published essays, short fiction, and two long-running blogs. She has a BA in Environmental Leadership and an MS in Environmental Studies, and uses both in her fiction regularly. She usually lives in Maryland in an oak and pine forest with her husband and their various cats and dogs.