Autobiography of Amos G. Gona

Well, I’ve finished another book. The Autobiography of Amos G. Gona: More Than Luck is the story of my husband’s life. He gave me his memories—unwillingly at first, saying there was nothing to tell. I knew there was. He claimed he didn’t remember and I believed him, knowing how hard it is for me to recall my own youth. But I also believed that, little by little, his long dormant memories could be stirred. And, as I began to dig—asking questions, probing, reminiscing—events of his past began to come forward. Amos responded by jotting down, or relating to me, bits and pieces of his experiences.

Over the course of four and a half months, the written autobiography took shape. Over the 50 years of our marriage, there were things he had told me and that I wanted to know more about. The internet helped me discover various nuggets of information that reminded Amos of people, places, and past events. I measured, mixed, and kneaded everything that he told me into what I think is a coherent account of his life.

Getting The Autobiography of Amos G. Gona written was an education for me. Despite the many years that we have been married, until I got to the section on his family’s house, I never knew the details of their sleeping arrangements. Nor did I understand just why the Blue Willow china his grandmother (a village woman of rural India) owned was so special.

Amos also learned a lot during the making of the book. From my research, it became clearer to him who the missionaries were that made a college education possible for his father, as well as why they did so. He learned the history of the Christian mission compound on which he grew up. Building on facts I discovered while doing research, he gained a much greater appreciation of the way the events of the first one-third of his life unfolded.

The Autobiography of Amos G. Gona was finished in October 2012. By November, Amos had a bound copy in his hand. He thumbed through the pages incredulously. He read and re-read the pages, marveling that—even to him—his life had indeed been interesting and that he had recalled so many things.

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Publicity

Whatever I once thought about shelves of bookstores being laden with my book Dawn of Desegregation on the book’s publication date turned out to be wrong. In fact, in the months since its publication, I’ve heard of only one bookstore that stocks it—Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, New Jersey. Continue reading

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FAME?

On March 1, 2011, the first harbinger of my fifteen minutes of fame as an author arrived. (Actually, it turned out to be more like fifteen nanoseconds of micro-fame. But fame is fame; don’t knock it.) On that date, I was invited to participate in the 2011 South Carolina Book Festival. I would be one of 100 authors who would talk about their recently published books. Continue reading

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Dawn Breaks

Front Dust Jacket of Dawn of Desegregation

My first book, Dawn of Desegregation, was officially published by the University of South Carolina Press on May 15, 2011. Note that I used the word “officially.” That’s because author’s copies arrived at my house on May 1. The manuscript on which I had worked so long was finally printed. And bound. And covered with a real dust jacket.

Dawn had broken (into print) and the month had only just begun. Continue reading

Posted in African American history, Biography, Briggs v Elliott, Brown v Board, Civil rights, Desegregation, History, Leadership, Miscellaneous, Ophelia De Laine Gona, South Carolina, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment