October 1941. Eleven-year-old Ella McGee sits on a bus bound for her Southern hometown. Behind her in Washington, D.C., lie the broken pieces of her parents’ love story—a black father drafted, an activist mother of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent confronting racist thugs. But Ella’s

journey is just beginning when she reaches

Hopewell County, and her disappearance into

the Georgia mountains will unfurl a rich

tapestry of family secrets spanning a century.

Told in five unforgettable voices,Glow reaches back through the generations, from the eve of World War II to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, where slave plantations adjoin the haunted glades of a razed Cherokee Nation. Out of these characters’ lives evolves a drama that is at once intimately human and majestic in its power to call upon the great themes of our time—race, identity, and the bonds of family and community.

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I met musician Rachel Loshak many years ago in New York City at The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series. Immediately taken by her ethereal voice, the depth of its emotion, and her bewitching bass and voice style, I envisioned a day when she and I would collaborate on a project. To my delight, my dream came to fruition in For Amelia J. McGee, a ballad of unrequited love that I wrote for two of my characters in the first draft of Glow, and which Rachel recently recorded. I hope you

Photo by
Charles Robinson

find it as haunting as I do, and that you enjoy it.