Grassroots Illinois writers

Grassroots Illinois writers

By Christine Swanberg, Author and Poet

Here is the second in a series featuring grassroots Illinois writers. The Writer’s Garret is pleased to present Barbara Santucci, whose new book, Anna’s Corn, is the current buzz around town.

Anna’s Corn portrays the love between a grandparent and a grandchild and gently looks at loss, grief and the hope of a new life. In this story, the music of the corn is beautiful to Anna, just like Grandpa’s raspy, crackling voice. When winter comes, though, Grandpa dies. Anna hangs onto the dried kernels of corn Grandpa had given her, but she wonders if she will ever hear the corn’s music again. Then she remembers her promise to Grandpa, and one spring morning, she plants them. They grow all that summer until they became “Anna’s Corn.”

…“Anna pulled herself up tall and stood as still as the scarecrow guarding the field. She cupped her hand behind her ear like Grandpa had shown her. Listening. Listening to the corn.

“Its whisper grew louder and stronger until, at last, a song formed on the wind. A song she knew. A raspy song. The song she had shared with Grandpa.”

Barbara, as both an author and a visual artist, feels that her writing process is closely linked to her visual process. Frequently, the themes she is working on in her stories also show up in her paintings.

In her stories, Barbara likes to deal with topics that are difficult as well as entertaining. She feels that authors need to write about what is important to their hearts and to their lives. Barbara believes that what we read or wrote as children can dramatically shape our lives. By remembering our own history, we can discover what we love about our lives and can help us move forward by keeping hope alive.

Barbara believes reading can inspire us if we notice what moves us on the deepest level. She tries to travel through life with her eyes and heart wide open.

Barbara Santucci, author of Loon Summer, will visit Wonderland Books to celebrate the release of her newest book, Anna’s Corn, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. She will be reading Anna’s Corn and leading the children in an art-related activity. An autographing will follow. There will also be an evening reception in Barbara’s honor at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. There is no charge to either event. Her books are currently available at Wonderland Books & Toys, Edgebrook Center, 1625 N. Alpine Rd., 394-1633.

Loon Summer, Barbara’s first book, was named one of the best books on divorce by the American Booksellers Association and the Children’s Book Council. Both of her books are published by Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers.

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