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Sarah Allen Papers, 1965-1983

(Manuscript Collection #471)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Sarah Allen Papers
Creator: Allen, Sarah
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1965-1983) including correspondence, news releases, galley and page proofs, concerning novel Ginger Hill.
Extent: 0.65 Cubic feet, 62 items , consisting of manuscripts, correspondence, news releases, galley and page proofs, concerning novel Ginger Hill.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 21, 1983, 19 items; Papers (1971-1973) concerning writing and publishing of novel Ginger Hill, including correspondence, novel drafts, and a statement.

May 24, 1983, 43 items; Papers (1965-1974), including correspondence, reviews, a novel draft, galley proofs, and page proofs. Gift of Mrs. Sarah Allen, Kinston, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Sarah Allen Papers (#471), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Sarah Allen

Processing Information

  • Processed by V. Leary, October 1987

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Sarah Allen of Kinston, N.C., wrote the novel Ginger Hill which was published by John F. Blair Publishing House of Winston-Salem, N.C. The manuscript, originally titled Rain on the River was begun during the late 1950s and completed in 1973-74. The novel is set in northeastern North Carolina during the depression years of the 1930s. The narrative is told by Ophelia, a fourteen-year old Negro girl, who lives with her mother, Cassie, and three other tenant families on Ginger Hill Plantation, a tobacco farm.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Contained in this collection is correspondence (1971-1974) between Mrs. Allen and John Blair. In these letters, many fine points concerning Ginger Hill are discussed in great detail, such as dialect of the Negro characters; changes in the tobacco-planting chapter; time periods between chapters; accuracy concerning the river, which plays a significant symbolic role, as does the hurricane; the courtroom trial scene of Cassie; and the conclusion, in which the lives of all the characters are brought together for the reader. There is also an explanation of the conception and writing of Ginger Hill.

Literary manuscripts in this collection consist of an original draft and subsequent rewritten drafts. There are photocopies of notes and notations on the manuscript between Mrs. Allen and Guy Owen, a professor and novelist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was instrumental in helping to ready the manuscript for publication. It was on Owen's advice that Ginger Hill was sent to John Blair for publication.

There is also the rewritten final version of the conclusion of Ginger Hill along with numerous redrafts and revisions. Finally, there are photocopies of news releases and reviews of the published book.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Box 1#0471.1
Correspondence (March 26, 1965 - May 23, 1983), original working manuscript and manuscript drafts
Box 2#0471.2
Galley proofs, manuscript drafts
Box 3#0471.3
Manuscript drafts, author's set of manuscripts, final drafts, and news releases

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

What is this page? Click here to learn more abou this webpage
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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