The Blue Box: Three Lives in Letters

The Blue Box: Three Lives in Letters

by Sallie Bingham


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936747788
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Publication date: 09/16/2014
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Sallie Bingham published her first novel with Houghton Mifflin in 1961, shortly after graduating from Radcliffe College. Since then she has published four collections of short stories, four novels, the memoir Passion and Prejudice , and several plays, many of which have been produced. Bingham was Book Editor for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky and has been a director of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the founder of The Kentucky Foundation for Women and The Sallie Bingham Archive for Women's Papers and Culture at Duke University.

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The Blue Box: Three Lives in Letters 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
KaraSachs More than 1 year ago
A Lineage of Powerful Women with the Write Stuff Imagine opening up a 150-year-old time capsule from your ancestors. This is the adventure Sallie Bingham takes us on in her latest book “The Blue Box: Three Lives in Letters.” And what a treasure of experience and history was found in that box, inconspicuously stashed at the top of her deceased Mother’s closet. Being the writer of the family, Sallie was entrusted with the contents; a true motherlode of letters, essays, short stories, historical documents, photos and slices of life from three generations of her maternal dynasty. The story begins with her namesake and Great-Grandmother, Sallie LeFroy, an indomitable yet gentile Southern woman from an aristocratic family during the Civil War era. Unlike most women of the time, LeFroy had a literary drive. Though life was challenging, even ugly during war times, in her memoir she chose to paint a more delicate picture of the world around her in order to preserve an image of beauty and prestige for her granddaughters. Next we learn about her Grandmother, Helena Caperton, a mother of six daughters. Married to a ne’er-do-well who died early, she was strapped with the burden of plying her writing talents towards commercial assignments - less than her lofty literary standards. The compromise was not only about survival but about maintaining the family image of high title. Out of those six daughters, Sallie Bingham’s Mother, Mary, was the only one to graduate from college. While attending Radcliff she met Sallie’s Father, Barry Bingham, a handsome, charming and wealthy young man of nobility. Through their letters we follow their complicated courtship as he traveled the world without her. Theirs was a long distance, adoring, seductive, yet seemingly impossible to possess relationship. After four years they finally married. This narrative, spanning four generations of powerful women, exposes a common thread of unyielding resilience--where writing was and remains a blessing. I thoroughly enjoyed Sallie Bingham’s masterful weaving and colorful detail in "The Blue Box,” which is filled with delicious and elegant language. I found myself needing to read it out loud...which I never do. It was fascinating to witness the progression of her foremother's evolution, through their writings, as women in the world...and of course, leading to hers! What a beautiful journey she shared with us. – Kara Sachs, film director