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PLUNGE! – Sally Stiles
An exceptional, deeply-moving memoir—a classic love story.
In the late 1970s, a fragile thread linked a woman living on Park Avenue in Manhattan and a man in a guarded house in West Africa. “I love you very much he whispered softly across 7,000 miles of ocean and up the East River.”
Plunge! is a love story, exquisitely told. Sally was a New York career woman when David showed up in her life. Their first dinner date was July 13, 1977, the night of the New York Blackout. Six weeks later he told her he had accepted a job in Nigeria. After a romantic weekend at the Pierre Hotel, David left the city. “The noise of the engines was muffled through the window, and as the plane taxied to the runway, the sound faded away, like a love song drawing to a melancholy close.”
As David struggled to clear a jungle to build a paper mill in West Africa, Sally worked at her fast-paced job, occasionally flew private planes, and led the tenants of her Park Avenue apartment building into battle against her landlord. Over the next nine months, they corresponded—openly, often with humor—and had three brief reunions: in Nigeria, London and New York. “Perhaps the distance that separated us, the lack of instant interaction, helped us both to communicate more thoughtfully, more honestly and even more passionately than we might have otherwise.”
“An amazing, beautiful literary accomplishment.” – Carol Shaben, author of Into the Abyss
“I can’t remember the last book that affected me like Plunge! It’s very moving and strong and honest and beautifully written. I was drawn in from the start—a gifted writer.” — Dalia Pagani, author of Mercy Road
“So well written and so compelling.” – Louise Crowley, Program Director, Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing
“A deeply moving and deeply-felt story which will resonate with others as it resonated with me” — Michael Boxall, author, The Great Firewall
“Alive and vibrant . . . An interesting, compelling narrative.” — Phyllis Barber, author of eight books, including Raw Edges
I Got Nuthin’ Strange to Rite – Jeff Toalson
GOT NUTHIN STRANGE TO RITE by Jeff Toalson
A SELECTION OF FORGOTTEN SOUTHERN LETTERS 1861-1865
This book, like the three preceding, is dedicated to preserving the true history of ordinary Confederate soldiers and civilians. It is the culmination of 15 years of research resulting in the publication of unforgettable letters documenting hardship, illness, loss and love during the Civil War.
The letters are published as they were written, and the chapter titles speak to the range of material included. For instance: “I lived three days on five biscuit and a little bacon”; “I got a pice of mule neck in my mouth”; “I still remain your loveing wife until death”.
The voices captured in I GOT NUTHIN STRANGE TO RITE take you straight to the camps and onto the battlefields of war; to the farms and the family left struggling behind; to the predicaments of slaves hired out on contract. You’ll learn about the deadly diseases that affected soldiers–smallpox, dysentery, measles. You’ll learn what it was like to slog through forests and swamps with shortages of supplies but no shortage of perils.
This extraordinary collection of letters is a treasure painstakingly created through a labor of love.