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Author Series and Book Signing: Gail Shaffer Blankenau

April 5 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm CDT

The National Willa Cather Center is hosting an author series as a way to connect Cather to contemporary writers as well as provide an accessible and inclusive space where readers can talk directly with writers about their work. Participating authors discuss how they create their work, thematic connections within and outside of their texts, and and how our shared experiences inform the work.

This free in-person author event is part of a National Nebraska Day event. Click here for more information and for a recommended registration link.

Observe National Nebraska Day by learning more about the complex history of the state’s south central region. Author and historian Gail Shaffer Blankenau will join us for a talk and signing of her new book, Journey to Freedom: Uncovering the Grayson Sisters’ Escape from Nebraska Territory, at the Red Cloud Opera House auditorium at 1:00 p.m. central time. Blankenau’s book tells the story of Celia and Eliza Grayson, two enslaved sisters who escaped from their enslaver Stephen F. Nuckolls in 1858.

According to the University of Nebraska Press, “Gail Shaffer Blankenau provides the first detailed history of Black enslavement in Nebraska Territory and the escape of these two enslaved Black women from Nebraska City. Drawing on multiple collections, records, and slave narratives, Journey to Freedom sheds light on the Graysons’ courage and agency as they became high-profile figures in the national debate between proslavery and antislavery factions in the antebellum period.”


National Willa Cather Center
425 North Webster Street
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970 United States
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