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Award-Winning Author Visiting Duluth to Discuss New Book

Created: November 05, 2019 09:41 AM

An award-winning author is visiting Duluth on Tuesday to discuss her new book, "Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions."

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Sheila O'Connor's book was released in October and it's about a 15-year-old dancer in 1935 in Minnesota who is incarcerated for six years for an unplanned pregnancy.

"It's a story of both this dancer, V, and essentially the thousands of girls that were incarcerated in Minnesota in the early part of last century," O'Connor said. 

She said she was inspired to write the story by her mother who adopted and as it turns out  was born at the Minnesota Home School at Sauk Centre.

"Her records, as all the girls' records, had been sealed for a hundred years and we were able to open the records through the court," O'Connor said. "Upon opening the records, I sort of came upon the discovery of this story about these girls and this very little-known Minnesota history and just delved into probably a decade worth of research of finding out what happened to these girls."

O'Connor said because the records were sealed, not many people knew about this.

"So many girls never told their story afterward, so we don't have documents by the girls where they attempted to talk about what had happened to them," O'Connor said.  

She said she's excited for people to know about this history of what happened to these girls and she hopes more of the descendants and the survivors of the school will come forward.  She wants to make a public space for their stories. 

O'Connor will be at Zenith Bookstore Tuesday night to discuss her book and some of the history surrounding it.  

The event is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 5 at the Zenith Bookstore. 

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