‘A Southern Girl’ by John Warley selected by Pat Conroy

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John Warley’s exciting new novel “A Southern Girl” is the inaugural publication of Story River Books, a South Carolina-based original fiction imprint with editor-at-large Pat Conroy and published by the University of South Carolina Press.

Photo of John Warley courtesy of Michael Leleux at All Things Author.
Photo of John Warley courtesy of Michael Leleux at All Things Author.

“A Southern Girl,” which comes out in May, unites a 1970’s American family with an orphaned infant from Seoul, Korea, after the main character Coleman’s liberal-thinking and compassionate wife Elizabeth convinces her husband to adopt Soo Yun (later Allie) in spite of Coleman’s reservations that stem largely from his deeply-steeped Southern elitist values.

With settings shifting seamlessly among the diverse cultures of Vietnam, Korea, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina, and the varying points of view ranging from Soo Yun’s birthmother, her orphanage nurse, Elizabeth, and Coleman, “A Southern Girl, both in form and subject, embraces the powerful themes of acceptance and inclusion.”

Allie’s immersion into American life in “A Southern Girl,” while filled with trials, proves cultural obstacles can be overcome and differences can open our eyes more clearly to our human commonalities.

“While no one denies a perfect solution would be for orphans to stay in their native country, the truth is the shortage of loving, nurturing families to adopt in native countries puts these children at a far greater risk that growing up in a different culture,” John says.

The author will be signing books on Saturday, May 10, at Beaufort Bookstore in Beaufort Town Center from 1 to 3 p.m., and on Sunday, May 11 he will be at McIntosh Book Shoppe, located on Bay Street, from 1 to 3 p.m.