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.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Sarah Allen Papers (#471), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
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.
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
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.