Searching for Nannie B – Connecting Three Generations of Southern Women
How would you be affected if your mother died giving you life? And how would such a loss affect your children? These questions are the foundation of many issues raised by the author in her search for the missing pieces of a grandmother who in 1905 died giving the author’s mother life. Nancy Owen Nelson's engrossing memoir follows her search for this mysterious grandmother, Nannie B., who was subsequently erased from the family memory, her death too painful a memory for Nancy's grandfather, successful Alabama businessman Robert Chandler.
This erasure was a tragedy that seemed to affect multiple generations, the voices in identity and ill-spent guilt flowing from the stream of blood that kept mother from daughter, and then from granddaughter. Nancy Owen Nelson’s search resulted in raising more questions about herself, even as it answered questions about her mysterious grandmother. Nonetheless, in the end her journey toward discovery was one of startling self-awareness and connection.
About Nancy Owen Nelson (Detroit, Michigan Author)
Nancy Owen Nelson teaches at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. She has edited and co-edited several academic books such as The Selected Letters of Frederick Manfred: 1932-1954 (with Arthur R. Huseboe) and Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Speak on the Literary Life. She has published critical essays in journals such as The South Dakota Review and Western American Literature, as well as creative nonfiction and poetry in several journals and anthologies. She teaches memoir workshops for Springfed Arts literary and music organization in the Detroit area.