I discovered Rebecca Woods Meredith when I received a copy of her spellbinding novel, The Last of the Pascagoula in the mail. The novel was sent to me by my friend David Lummis, author of The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans. Lummis said he thought I would enjoy reading Meredith's book, and he could not have been more correct. The irony was not lost on me that I opened a package that would take me down a new path much like the protagonist of the novel, Kate Lynn, opens a package on the first page of the novel that will forever change her life.
Rebecca Meredith, who was born in Sylacauga, Alabama, grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and moved to the big city of New Orleans at seventeen. The Last of the Pascagoula takes places in southern Mississippi and New Orleans. Meredith drew inspiration from her own life for her engaging novel, but the book is a fictional account of three friends growing up on the margins of society in the south of the 1960's. Like her main character, Kate Lynn, Meredith had an Air Force father and a mother who died when she was young, but unlike Kate, she has two younger sisters with families and careers.
After "rambling" through North Carolina and Pittsburgh, Meredith moved with her husband and family to Washington state in 1987. Meredith, who has an MA in clinical psychology and training as a psychoanalyst, has been published in literary magazines, journals, anthologies and other publications. She is an alumna of Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Colony and the Jack Straw Writer’s Program, and in 2010 she was chosen as the first poet laureate of the city of Redmond, Washington.
Meredith currently lives in Seattle with her husband and the latest of her many beloved dogs, but cannot stay away from the Gulf Coast and New Orleans for too long at a stretch. She is currently working on a sequel to The Last of the Pascagoula tentatively entitled Indian Summer. Meredith's book can be ordered from her web site thelastofthepascagoula.com or from Amazon.com. You can read the Swampland review here.
----Penne J. Laubenthal
Further Exploration on Swampland