Ask a bookseller: Square Books in Oxford, Miss.

'Trials of the Earth' by Mary Mann Hamilton
'Trials of the Earth' by Mary Mann Hamilton
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Cody Morrison of Square Books in Oxford, Miss.

Mary Mann Hamilton tried to publish her memoir of life as a pioneer in the Mississippi Delta in 1933 — but Little, Brown turned it down.

This summer however, 83 years later, the publishing company put it in print: "Trials of the Earth."

Cody Morrison of Square Bank Books in Oxford, Miss., says the Delta is best known as the birthplace of the blues and a big farming region, but Hamilton's account takes place when it was "just this sort of untameable wilderness."

Hamilton moved to the Delta in the late 1800s with her husband and children.

"She survived tornadoes, bears, panthers, snakes, floods. She lost a few of her children. It was a very hard life, but she's a beautiful writer. Even though it's a simple record, it's fascinating," Morrison said.

"The writing is surprisingly good, because she wasn't a particularly well-educated person. But it has her unique voice that you sort of want to simmer a little bit."

Trials of the Earth Trials of the Earth

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