Alison Moore, former Fayetteville resident and winner of the Katherine Ann Porter Prize for Fiction, will read excerpts from her newest novel, “Riders on the Orphan Train,” at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 inside the Fayetteville Public Library.
Thursday’s event will feature a short version of the “Riders on the Orphan Train” multi-media program.
“Riders on the Orphan Train” chronicles the lives of two children among about a quarter-million young people “placed out” between 1854 and 1929; boarding trains in New York City and literally given away at rail stations across the country.
From the release:
A brief encounter aboard the same westbound train makes a lifelong impression on a pair of 11-year-olds, and while theirs are different stories, the two share an enduring connection. Their lives form a loose braid across Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona in the time before and during World War I and the decades that follow through the Great Depression. From the teeming streets of New York among a crush of immigrants; through the winding down of the old West; the dustbowl; even an intimate brush with Coin Harvey and his ill-fated Monte Ne experiment, “Riders on the Orphan Train” is a story of the search for home, of dislocation, of loss and the rapidly-changing quality of American life.
Moore is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and a former Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Synonym for Love; Small Spaces between Emergencies and The Middle of Elsewhere. Ms. Moore and her husband, Phil Lancaster, tour nationally with a multi-media presentation about the orphan trains. That production is now the official outreach program for the National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center in Concordia, Kansas, which began as The Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc. in Springdale, founded by Mary Ellen Johnson.