The Regulator welcomes Lee Smith and Samia Serageldin, co-editors of Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood from the New South, for a reading and book signing. Smith and Serageldin will be joined by contributors Sharon Swanson, E. C. “Redge” Hanes, and Margaret Rich. This event is co-sponsored by UNC Press. Free and open to the public.
In this anthology of creative nonfiction, twenty-eight writers set out to discover what they know, and don't know, about the person they call Mother. Celebrated writers Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith have curated a diverse and insightful collection that challenges stereotypes about mothers and expands our notions of motherhood in the South. The mothers in these essays were shaped, for good and bad, by the economic and political crosswinds of their time. Whether their formative experience was the Great Depression or the upheavals of the 1970s, their lives reflected their era and influenced how they raised their children. The writers in Mothers and Strangers explore the reliability of memory, examine their family dynamics, and come to terms with the past.
In addition to the editors, contributors include Belle Boggs, Marshall Chapman, Hal Crowther, Clyde Edgerton, Marianne Gingher, Jaki Shelton Green, Sally Greene, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Eldridge "Redge" Hanes, Lynden Harris, Randall Kenan, Phillip Lopate, Michael Malone, Frances Mayes, Jill McCorkle, Melody Moezzi, Elaine Neil Orr, Steven Petrow, Margaret Rich, Omid Safi, James Seay, Alan Shapiro, Bland Simpson, Sharon K. Swanson, and Daniel Wallace.
E. C. “Redge” Hanes is the author of two novels, Billy Bowater, a story based on Redge’s
experiences in Raleigh and Washington, D.C., as an advocate for the arts, and Justice by Another
Name, based on his work on environmental issues in North Carolina. A native of Winston-
Salem, he graduated from Duke and served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1969
to 1971. After 35 years as a business executive, he retired as the chairman of the Russ
Companies; he has served on the board member of numerous
local and national arts and environmental organizations. Redge lives with his wife in Winston-
Margaret W. Rich, a native of South Carolina, has lived most of her adult life in North
Carolina, where she worked as a professional gardener and spent a summer working in Monet’s gardens in Giverny. A graduate of Mills College, she earned an M.F.A. in creative
writing from Bennington College and is working on a memoir. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, James.
Samia Serageldin is a novelist, writer, and editor. Her autobiographical first novel, "The Cairo
House," is set in her native Egypt and was followed by "The Naqib’s Daughter" and" Love Is Like
Water and Other Stories." She is an editor and founder of the magazine South Writ Large: Stories, Arts, and Ideas from the Global South.
Serageldin received her M.S. degree in politics from London University and has called Chapel Hill home for the
past thirty years.
Lee Smith is the author of seventeen works of fiction, including "Fair and Tender Ladies," "Oral
History," "Guests in Earth," and her novel, "Dimestore: A Writer's Life." She has received many awards, including the
North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American
Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel "The Last Girls" was a New York Times bestseller and
winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award.
Sharon K. Swanson is an award-winning essayist, features writer, and filmmaker. Her
documentary film "Landscapes of the Heart: The Elizabeth Spencer Story" was selected for film
festivals across the country and has been broadcast on public television in several states. Her
memoir, "Free Fall", about her discovery of stability and love as a groupie in a community of
skydivers, is out to agents. Sharon holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the Writing
Seminars at Bennington College and a graduate degree in public administration from East