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Novel at Home: Sally Palmer Thomason & Jean Carter Fisher with Susan Cushman

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CLICK HERE to purchase The Power of One: Sister Anne Brooks and the Tutwiler Clinic from Novel's website, or call us at (901) 922-5526.


For thirty-four years Sister Anne Brooks, a Catholic nun and doctor of osteopathy, served one of the nation's most impoverished towns and regions, Tutwiler, in Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta. In 1983, she reopened the Tutwiler Clinic, which had remained closed for five years, as no other physician was willing to serve in Tallahatchie County. Starting with only two other nuns and regularly working twelve-hour days, Brooks's patient load--in a region where seven out of ten patients that walked in her door had no way to pay for care--grew from thirty to forty individuals per month her first year to more than 8,500 annually.

Sally Palmer Thomason tells the powerful story of Sister Anne Brooks, beginning with her tumultuous childhood, the contracting and overcoming of crippling arthritis in early adulthood, and her near-unprecedented decision to attend medical school at the age of forty. Dr. Brooks's remarkable dedication and accomplishments in caring for the health and well-being of both the individuals and the community of Tutwiler attracted ongoing attention and was often featured in national publications and media, including People magazine and 60 Minutes.

Thomason not only shares Brooks's powerful story but reveals, through excerpts from journal entries, letters, and interviews, the intimate musings that connect Brooks's faith in God to her profound compassion for others. Whether it is Brooks's efforts to desegregate Tutwiler or provide free healthcare, her constant devotion to others is striking.


Sally Palmer Thomason was born, raised, and educated in California but has lived in Memphis for over fifty years. She retired as the dean of continuing and corporate education at Rhodes College and has authored four books, including Delta Rainbow: The Irrepressible Betty Bobo Pearson, published by University Press of Mississippi.

Jean Carter Fisher is a licensed clinical social worker at Lakeside Behavioral Health System in Memphis, Tennessee, and previously worked at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She contributed to Delta Rainbow: The Irrepressible Betty Bobo Pearson, published by University Press of Mississippi.


Susan Cushman returned to her native state of Mississippi to speak at Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in 2017-18, including Oxford, where she had previously studied at the University of Mississippi. Those visits and the people she met inspired the stories in this, her fifth book. Her previously published books include: Cherry Bomb (a novel), Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer's (a memoir), and two anthologies, A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be, and Southern Writers on Writing. She was co-director of the 2010 and 2013 Creative Nonfiction Conferences in Oxford (MS) and director of the Memphis Creative Nonfiction Conference in 2011. She has spoken at numerous literary festivals, conferences, and workshops in eight states. Susan lives in Memphis with her husband of 49 years.

CLICK HERE to purchase Susan's latest book: Friends of the Library

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Event date: 
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
387 Perkins Ext.
Memphis, TN 38117
The Power of One: Sister Anne Brooks and the Tutwiler Clinic (Willie Morris Books in Memoir and Biography) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496829160
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University Press of Mississippi - August 25th, 2020