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numerous essays, some short fiction, and two long-running blogs, The Climate Emergency, and The School with No Name. The novel, To Give a Rose, is also the first major publication of her visual art, although she also
contributed paintings and collage to the off-Broadway musical, Inappropriate, illustrated some of her own blog posts, and has donated watercolors to fundraisers by Conservación Panamá. She travels often, but usually lives in Maryland with her husband and assorted cats and dogs.
To Give a Rose:
Artist Sophie Smith “listens” to fossils to seek inspiration, but her latest subjects, a pair of ape-like human ancestors
Alphabetical list of historical
Delaware regional authors (un-linked yet to be added; suggestions welcome)
John Biggs, Jr.
Robert Montgomery Bird
Henry Seidel Canby
John P. Marquand
George Alfred Townsend
G. Peyton Wertenbaker
An excellent resource on past Delaware authors can be found at
Collecting Delaware Books
Previous Featured Authors
(Only linked authors archived)
11/2016: Caroline Ailanthus
08-09/2015: J.M. Reinbold
01-02/2015: Franetta McMillian
12/2014: George Lippard
11/2014: Robert Bohm
10/2014: Douglas Morea
09/2014: Shaun Mullen
08/2014: Patrice Gibbs
millions of years old, could give her something else as well. Never has she needed a clear perspective on human descent so much, for now she is unexpectedly pregnant. As Sophie struggles to make art and make a decision, her speculations frame and introduce the real stories of seventy-five years in a proto-human community, the “foot-ape” Tribe of the River Confluence. There is the community founder who must make a terrible choice to reclaim her power and her dignity. There is the man who defends his family from famine in ways at once human and beastly. There is the woman who crosses a mountain range for a chance at saving her children. And more. Sophie can wonder, draw solace, and make decisions about her own legacy, but she cannot know these stories. She cannot learn why one of her fossil subjects is holding the fossil of a flower.
The synopsis of To Give a Rose does not begin to describe the level of emotional and intellectual involvement that the novel generates. I was amazed to find myself so taken with the lives of the Confluence Tribe. The characters have a visceral reality that is both unexpected and very rewarding. The reader is prompted to think about parenthood, affection, friendship, loyalty, adventure, sex, and fear in new ways. One is tempted to say that the novel raises questions about what it means to be human but that is not exactly correct; instead it makes one think about the beauty of life and experience.
The manner in which the present day part of the story is linked to the story of the Confluence Tribe is beautifully constructed. -Amazon Review by Katherine S.
Featured Author for October-November, 2016
A visual, audio, and video archive containing over two centuries
of literary contributions from Delaware authors and poets
Caroline Ailanthus considers herself a science writer. From blogging about climate change and editing scientific papers, to her meticulously researched fiction, her projects blend science and story. She grew up in Delaware and attended mostly small, private schools there and in New England. She has a BA in Environmental Leadership and an MS in Environmental Studies. While researching a certain novel about australopithecines, she served on trail maintenance crews, managed back-country tent sites, collected data on nesting birds, and eventually became a full-time free-lance writer. To Give a Rose is her first published novel, but prior credits include