Reading Matters

‘Truevine’ – True story of Jim Crow South by the author of bestselling ‘Factory Man’

From Beth Macy, who brought us the national bestseller, “Factory Man,” here is the true story of two African-American brothers, kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks for more than 13 years, and of their mother, who risked her life to free them.

“Truevine” is the true story of the Jim Crow South, and it hits bookstores this week.

Macy, whose “Factory Man” won a Lukas Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism, is a prize-winning reporter for the Roanoke Times in Virgnia.

According to the book jacket, though the Muse brothers’ narrative has been passed down for over a century, no writer has ever gotten this close to the beating heart of their story, and to its mysteries: Were they really kidnapped and put into servitude by the circus? How did their mother, a black maid toiling under the harsh restrictions of segregation, bring them home? And why, after getting home, would they ever want to go back?

“(The town of) Truevine is a speck of land where slaves and their descendants became sharecroppers, then sewing-machine operators, then unemployed workes before, finally – those who could afford to, anyway – they fled.”

I am taking “Truevine” home with me to begin reading tonight.