October 24, 2023
Indigo Field by Marjorie Hudson (Regal House Publishing 2023) paints a sweeping picture of multigenerational family trauma, Native American and Black history, and the earth’s vengeance on human pettiness. A retired colonel is stunned when his wife dies, leaving him stranded in the fancy, rural North Carolina retirement community he’d hated from the start. The community is located next to an abandoned field that hides centuries of crimes. The only person who remembers is Reba, an elderly Black woman who speaks to the ghosts of her entire family. Reba takes in the white child whose evil father killed her beloved niece, whom she doesn’t want to disappoint. The colonel mistakenly causes damage to Reba’s old car and unleashes a torrent of spirits, while the colonel’s son guards bones that have been unearthed in what was once “Indian Field.” This is a stunning debut in which North Carolina race relations, land use and ancient trees, farming and development, history and memory are all uprooted during a massive storm.
Marjorie Hudson was born in a small town in Illinois, raised in Washington, D.C., and now lives in rural North Carolina. Her new novel Indigo Field explores the untold stories of the people and history of the rural South, hidden under the surface of an abandoned field. Her story collection Accidental Birds of the Carolinas was shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Novello Fiction Award. Her creative nonfiction book Searching for Virginia Dare explores the fate of the first English child born in America. Hudson’s stories, essays, and poems have appeared in six anthologies, including Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, and What Doesn’t Kill You (stories) as well as in many magazines and journals, including Story, West Branch, Yankee, American Land Forum, and National Parks Magazine. She writes on topics ranging from pond fishing to Sufi dancing, from extraordinary dogs to English explorers, from Indigenous history to the life of the monarch butterfly. Her work has won support from the Hemingway Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, Headlands Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers, and the North Carolina Arts Council, as well as earning the Blumenthal Award, a North Carolina Fiction Syndicate Award, and two Pushcart Special Mentions. A community-builder in Chatham County, NC, she has created two ambitious community reads, run a coffeehouse for artists and writers, been a mentor for at-risk children, served on the board of her local arts council, the board of the Black Historical Society, and the Board of the Haw River Assembly, serving as volunteer crew for an ambitious river festival. In addition, Hudson is known for educating her community about the life and work of enslaved poet George Moses Horton. She teaches creative writing through conferences, universities, and her own Kitchen Table Workshops, ongoing since 2009.Hudson lives on a family farm in Chatham County, North Carolina, with her husband, Sam, her small feisty terrier DJ Calhoun, and a community of wild birds.