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Ginnah Howard

Rope & BoneA Novel in Stories
By Ginnah Howard
Rope & Bone’s thirty-four story/chapters span the years from 1946 to 1993.
The novel opens in 1984 on Chicken Farm Road when Del Merrick, an art
teacher living without plumbing or electricity, enlists help in changing a
flat tire from Carla Morletti, a member of the Pagan Biker’s auxiliary, now
studying for her G.E.D. This chance connection between these two women will reroute their lives and the lives of their children.
The first section of the novel, “Wildest Dreams,” flashes back to pivotal
moments in the past. Part 2, “Castanets,” tells of Carla and Del’s misadventures as they try to raise their kids, get their old cars started on subzero mornings, and put in enough wood to get through until April— at the same time they’re testing their theory: a good man’s hard to find. In Part 3, “Shelter,” Carla and Del’s friendship darkens as their children’s lives become more chaotic.
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I'm Sick of This Already
At-Risk Learning in a High School Class
By Ginnah Howard

It’s the first day of school at Stanton Central High. The teacher stands by the door as ready as she’s going to be. The 6B Improvement of Language Skills class bursts in: Neal, with a shaved head; Joe, wearing three earrings; Vance, in dark glasses and a heavy navy jacket, the same one he wore the few days he attended last year… plus the other fourteen. “I’m hungry”… “I hate English” … “I’m sick of this already.” And so the new year begins. We will be with them for two semesters and we will get to know them all. We’ll read their poems and journals. Be in on their muttered remarks and jokes. We’ll see what they put in their Time Capsules and hear what they have to say in their interviews. We’ll listen to their discussions as they watch Great Expectations. Many of us will come to care about all of them and be sad when some of them run away or get arrested or become pregnant. We’ll understand why this teacher is relieved when Stan and Mike are both absent on a subzero Monday in the middle of February. Lots of days, we’ll give her a gold star for her efforts.

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