From Songs to Tears: PW Talks with Barbara J. Taylor
Excerpt from Publishers Weekly
A family legend inspired Taylor to shine a spotlight on her hometown of Scranton, Penn., in her debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night.
Your publisher informs us that the idea for this novel was inspired by a real-life incident that occurred in your family before you were born.
On the day she was baptized—July 4, 1918—my grandmother’s sister, Pearl, and her friends were playing with sparklers in the backyard. Something happened, and her dress went up in flames. According to the story, she survived for three days, and she sang hymns nonstop. When she passed away, everybody in Scranton came to view the body of the little girl who sang hymns. The story took on mythological proportions; it has always fascinated me. What also fascinated me was the effect witnessing [it] had on [my grandmother’s] life—although in real life, no one blamed her …