Joanna Catherine Scott

2007 SeasonJoanne Scott

Joanna Catherine Scott was born in England, raised in Australia, and took her graduate degree in Philosophy at Duke University. From this award-winning author of Cassandra Lost and The Lucky Gourd Shop, comes The Road From Chapel Hill — a sweeping tale of the Civil War South, in which three people, worlds apart, are joined in a struggle for something greater than themselves. 


The Road From Chapel Hill (2006) 

Cassandra Lost (2005)

Fainting at the Uffizi

Breakfast at the Shangri-La (2004) 

The Lucky Gourd Shop (2001)

Charlie and the Children (1997) 

 Indochina’s Refugees: Oral Histories From Laos, 

Cambodia and Vietnam (1989)


The Road From Chapel Hill (2006)

Chapter One

The sharp clang of the mine bell woke her. She lay a moment, prone, reluctant, half inside a vanished dream, then stirred and sniffed and wiped her eyes o the corner of her apron, wincing at the drag of rough cotton on her skin. She sniffed again, sharply this time, and with a little exclamation, slipped backwards off the bed. With an abrupt, almost dismissive, movement, she flung aside the strip of fabric separating her tiny bedroom from the main room of the cabin and flounced toward the fireplace, the mud-caked bottoms of her petticoats pattering the ash-scrubbed floor a reddish brown.

Wadding up her apron, she wrapped it round the handle of a sizzling pan, and with a little grunt of effort, swung it two-handed off the fire and set it, still snapping and sizzling, on the hearth’s uneven stones. Blue heat rose, threatening an explosion into flame. She jerked her hands away, smacking the apron up against her skirt. Would she ever get it right, this cooking like a Negro woman on an open fire, she who had never cooked but on a stove? How could Papa do it to her? How could he bring her, Eugenia Mae Spotswood, down to this? And now dinner was burned again, and her thumb burned to the bargain.

She stuck the knuckle of her right thumb in her mouth and went to the doorway of the cabin, where she stood looking out into the shadowed lane, the smell of burned pork grease behind her room. Once, before Papa was forced to sell their farm near Wilmington, she had had a servant to help her cook and clean the house, a proper house, with a proper kitchen separated from it by a covered walk, and a bout to chop the wood and haul the water to do jobs about the place and drive the gig, a gardener too, and hand to work the fields, nineteen of them. Twenty-three slaves they had owned together, twenty-three. And she had aspired. All her dreams had centered on the luxury of owning more.

Copyright © 2006 by Joanna Catherine Scott