I met Ann McLaughlin nearly 30 years ago when we were both adjuncts at American University and workshop leaders at The Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
We were about to have our first novels published.
Since then, there has never been a time when Ann wasn’t working on a new book. Or two. No matter what else was going on in a life filled with family, friends, travel and teaching - she always found time to writer, rewrite, then write some more. She went on to publish 7 more novels. She’d found a home with Daniel and Daniel Publishers in California and found new ways to dig deep into her personal history to create stories with universal appeal.
I was honored when she asked if Bacon Press Books would re-issue Sunset at Rosalie, a novel based on her mother’s experience growing up on a Southern plantation. Because the story had personal meaning, she wanted to make sure it stayed in print. We published it in paperback and ebook in 2015.
Ann was especially pleased the book received these two terrific reviews when it was frist released.
"Luminous evocations of the last days of Rosalie, a Mississippi plantation brought down by the collapse of ``King Cotton'' in the early 1900s as observed by a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. McLaughlin (The Balancing Pole, 1991, etc.) begins the story in the summer of 1909 on the eve of Uncle Will's marriage to widowed Aunt Emily, and though many incidents accumulate in the course of the novel, the mood is always more important than the action. Ten-year-old Carlin McNair, precociously intelligent, is looking forward to the wedding. Will is her favorite uncle, and Aunt Emily is her mother's dearest sister and the mother of Carlin's playmates. But all may not be well . . .A clear-eyed, loving but never sentimental look at the Old South as it tries to adjust to a new order." Kirkus Reviews
“Sunset at Rosalie shimmers with the bittersweet magic of a young girl’s coming-of- age amidst the disintegration of her family’s traditional world. With exquisite delicacy, Ann McLaughlin interweaves the unfolding of Carlin’s imagination and the economic collapse of her father’s cotton plantation, and her words bring alive country life in Mississippi during the years before World War I. . . . A pleasure to read, Sunset at Rosalie draws readers into the sights, textures, voices, and customs of a rural South precariously balanced between past and future. This is a novel that will linger in readers’ minds like a cherished memory.” - Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, author of Within the Plantation Household and “Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life.”
She was a woman of great courage and kindness, generosity and grace. She will be missed.