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Alumni Ink: Rubies from Burma

“Well-begun is half done, and debut novelist Lovett captures us on the very first page of this story set in rural Georgia in the middle of the last century,” says the Kirkus Starred Review.

By Michelle Valigursky

Author Anne Lovett 65C

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A war-torn country and legends of rubies fueled a creative spark in the mind of author Anne Lovett 65C. Lovett earned the nomination for Georgia Author of the Year in 2017. In Rubies from Burma, her debut novel, she depicts small town life and tender coming of age moments against the backdrop of sisterhood rivalry.

“I'm a Southerner who wouldn't be here if it weren't for cotton, probably,” she says. A lifelong writer, Lovett “set the book in a town much like the one where I grew up. I wanted to give readers the authentic feel of living in a small Southern town, with real people you might meet if you go there.

Rubies from Burma
The book’s description reads, “It's a hot July in 1941 rural Georgia. Plucky Mae Lee, almost eight, feels overshadowed by her beautiful, sultry teenage sister, and barely noticed by her sick mother and preoccupied father. But when a handsome Army paratrooper comes courting her sister, the kindness he shows Mae Lee makes her feel valued. While the lieutenant risks death to spy and sabotage in Burma, Mae Lee finds she must spy and sabotage in her own house so that her beloved soldier has someone to come home to.

“When the soldier returns a hero, wounded in body and spirit, he marries the girl he thinks he knows.  Mae Lee, growing into a teen, faces the biggest challenge of her life as the marriage spectacularly unravels. She must make a choice that will change her life forever.”

Lovett is a native Georgian descended from generations of cotton farmers, as well as teachers, preachers, and pioneer women from the Wiregrass region. She has published literary short stories, personal essays, journalism, and poetry. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and rescue cat. Rubies from Burma was a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Competition.

As Kirkus writes, “Lovett is the real deal.”

Editor’s Note: Learn more about the author and her work here. Connect with the author on Facebook. Visit with her and other Emory alumni authors at the Authors’ Showcase on the quad during Homecoming this year. Register for Homecoming today and learn more about the full weekend’s events on campus.

Are you interested in connecting with other creative alumni like Lovett? Consider joining the discussion of the Emory Alumni Creative on Facebook.