There’s Life in Those Old Quilts: A Historical Novelist’s Perspective. A Talk by Tracy Chevalier 12 June, 2014

Merchant Taylors Hall, York, 7.00pm (6:15 cava & canapés)

Tracy Chevalier, best-selling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, will read from her latest novel The Last Runaway and talk about the quilts featured in the book. The Last Runaway is the story of Honor Bright, a Quaker from England who emigrates with her sister Grace to start a new life in America in 1850. Quilts are an integral part of The Last Runaway, woven into a story about the Underground Railroad and the desperate attempt of escaping slaves, heading North to Canada through Ohio. Honor is thrust into this world and sets about playing her part in shaping history.

The quilts provide a rich, visual point of reference and allow us insights into Honor’s personality. ‘I wanted the character to do something with her hands that anchored her in a daily activity’, said Tracy. Whilst researching and writing The Last Runaway, Tracy discovered her a new found love of quilting herself and has become involved in judging and curating as well as joining a regular quilting group.

It was on at trip to Oberlin College in Ohio in 2009 when the inspiration for The Last Runaway first came to Tracy. She had attended the college in 1984 as an undergraduate and is now on an advisory panel. During a recent visit she heard the novelist and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison dedicate a ‘Bench by the Road’ to mark Oberlin as a significant place in African American History.

Attendees at Tracy’s talk will be able to ask questions, purchase copies of The Last Runaway and “meet the author” at the book signing afterwards.

Tickets: £15.00 (Quilters’ Guild Members £12.50). To book telephone 01904 613 242 or order online at The Quilters’ Guild Website

Tickets sales close 28 May 2014, Tickets will not be available on the night. Profits from this event will go to The Quilt Museum and Gallery, York