Rosemary Poole-Carter Book Spotlight and Author Interview

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Kunati Inc. (September 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601640145
ISBN-13: 978-1601640147

Book Synopsis:

Young Dr. Robert Mallory, fresh from three blood-soaked years as a field surgeon on the battlefields of the Civil War, makes his way on foot to the Magdalene Ladies’ Lunatic Asylum to assume his duties as the resident general practitioner. When he recovers the body of a young patient in a nearby river, the callous indifference of the authorities disturbs him. He soon finds that mistreatment of the patients is commonplace and that the doctors who run the asylum have little interest in treating the patients—many of whom have no mental disability but have been abandoned there by their families. Before Dr. Mallory can expose the abuse of patients at the facility, and the misogyny and racism at its core, another patient is found dead. Kingston hastily blames a young “Negress” employed by the asylum and shoots her lover and her on the spot. After she is locked up and charged with the murder of a white woman, she is taken from her cell and lynched. Mallory is determined to expose Kingston and exonerate the girl, but Kingston has other plans. Lushly evocative, written with elegance and beauty, this novel is a richly satisfying story of that long-vanished world of slavery and southern gentility.

I want to thank the author for taking the time to answer a few questions for me.

Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?

My mother, who read to me and took dictation when I told her stories, was my earliest and strongest influence. I still run ideas by her and send her drafts to read.

Do you write every day?

I think about writing every day--and the thinking, planning, and plotting really are part of the process. With a day job and other responsibilities, I treasure every moment of writing time, whenever I can find it.

What has been your greatest achievement as a writer?

Each project, novel or play, is a piece of my heart. After a very long period of writing, waiting, and wondering, I received two contracts for two different books from two different publishers on the same winter solstice day. WOMEN OF MAGDALENE sold to Kunati Inc. and JULIETTE ASCENDING sold to Top Publications. Maybe the greatest achievement is not giving up.

Have you always wanted to be a writer, or did you aspire to be something else growing up?

Always, always I dreamed of being a published novelist and a produced playwright. Now that those dreams have come true, sometimes I feel a little strange, thinking, oh, well, I still do the same chores and errands and clean up after the pets. And I still go on dreaming up the next novel and imagining the next play production.

How would you describe your writing?

My writing: Southern gothic, usually historical, a little dark and twisted, influenced by poetry and drama, visual and sensual.

Are you currently working on anything?

I'm working on a Southern gothic novel, this one about obsession, set in post-Civil War New Orleans. I'm also writing a ghost story play for the Eclectic Theater Company of Seattle, the same company planning to produce my play THE LITTLE DEATH next October.

What authors do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading Barry Unsworth, Ian McEwan, Muriel Spark, Flannery O'Connor, and John Biguenet. And I enjoy watching plays by Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and some edgy living playwrights, including Moira Buffini, Connor McPherson and Philip Ridley.

Is there a particular author/s (yourself excluded) who you feel don't get the recognition they deserve?

Last fall at the Louisiana Book Festival, I met an amazingly talented young writer, Peter Charles Melman, whose first novel, LANDSMAN, had just been published. Melman is certainly deserving of recognition.

What is your favorite book?

There are so many--and different books have taken on significance at certain times in my life. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO made a huge impression on me, combining a vast novel with heartbreakingly lovely poems. MORALITY PLAY, SACRED HUNGER, ATONEMENT, SATURDAY, HUCKELBERRY FINN are all very special to me.

What is a book that has been highly acclaimed but you haven't liked?

I rarely bother to finish a book I don't like. As for the highly acclaimed--I liked COLD MOUNTAIN but have found some other, less famous Southern historical novels more compelling, such as LANDSMAN and ON THE OCCASION OF MY LAST AFTERNOON.

Is there a word you feel is overused?

Maybe not. Even an overused word, if put in an interesting context, can take on fresh impact.

For more information on the author, please visit

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Karen Harrington said...

Women of Magdalene is a great book by a wonderful writer. Great Q&A Rosemary!