Local author to sign first book in Frisco today | SummitDaily.com

Local author to sign first book in Frisco today

FRISCO – Author Janice Ward Parrish said while researching her first novel, “The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree,” she started feeling the stewardship to the history of the time she was writing about.The story revolves around Gaynell McGowan, a college student reluctantly spending her summer in her Alabama hometown. While there, a federal order to integrate the high school causes a storm of controversy in the town.”The novel is based on the situation of my family in 1963 when integration came to this little town,” Parrish said.The little town was Tuskagee, Ala., the first public school in Alabama to integrate African-Americans.”I tried to wind the story around the historical facts without manipulating them,” she said. “On a deeper level, what caused me to write this book was my childhood,” she continued. “I grew up under a system of total racial segregation and, as a child, I grappled with the moral spilt personality that I saw with good people I knew that were capable of great generosity, but when it came to black people … could treat them in the most soul-killing ways. Not just physical cruelty, but treating them less than human. In order to live here in this system, you had to develop this sort of moral split personality.”She said in her youth, she began thinking about writing a book as a way to unveil the damage done by the system.Parrish, a part-time Frisco resident, took up downhill skiing at the age of 54 and is now a ski instructor at Breckenridge. She will be signing copies of her novel from 1:30-6 p.m. today at Winds of Change Books & Gifts on Main Street in Frisco. She expects to speak informally about the novel all day. Call the store at (970) 668-5399 for more information.

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