P R E S S R E L E A S E
Author, BJ Appelgren, will be signing her book, The Transparent Feather, (Zillah, Inc. Charles Town, WV) at the Ohio River Festival of Books, a celebration of West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky's contributions to writing at the Third Ohio River Festival of Books on April 29, 2006. She will be at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center in Huntington, WV from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m and at Borders on 120 Huntington Mall in Barboursville from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
For more information, contact BJ Appelgren 800.915.9335
Appelgren, is going through a period of uncertainty about the purpose of her life. She is introduced to Berry Morgan by a hospice nurse who is a mutual friend. Contrary to BJ’s usual inclinations, she agrees to meet Berry who is living out her days in a nursing home. BJ learns that Berry is a prize-winning fiction author who wrote for The New Yorker from 1966-1988 and was well-regarded by her friend, Southern writer Walker Percy.
The two women work out a unique partnership. BJ will transcribe Berry's memoirs to leave to her family, and in return, Berry will help improve BJ's expository writing, hoping to transform her clear declarative sentences into something more literary. The unanticipated friendship at a critical time in both women's lives surprises them. While they embark on an odyssey of pondering their life stories, Berry causes BJ to re-examine the inner turmoil of her baffling perceptions regarding death and the mystery of after-life.
The elder's optimistic influence does not end with her death. Unexpected events conspire to bring The Transparent Feather to a life-affirming conclusion, and BJ, herself, to a belated coming of-age. This book speaks to anyone whose rational outlook may have gotten in the way of appreciating the true meaning of intuitive experience.
"I think the aspect I liked the best was how as Berry’s story faded and failed,
yours grew stronger and took her place. There was a sublime and touching passing of the order.
I also enjoyed the authentic way you explored the writing process.
You revealed it, you didn’t ‘how to’ it. -Robert Dixon Bell, History Teacher, Glengary WV
"I found the way that you ended it to be intriguing and unique." –RS, Jefferson County, WV
"Your book is absolutely incredible. I stayed up late last night reading
before going to sleep, and am reading again this a.m. . . .(It) has universal appeal.
The Transparent Feather is a many layered book full of rich color and marvelous descriptions."
–Mary Lehman, editor, The Shepherdstown Observer, Shepherdstown, WV
BJ Appelgren has been an artist, teacher, potter, executive director of a non-profit agency, counselor, and writer of an alternative health newsletter--but it is in writing 'literature,' she has re-discovered art as revelation. Originally from Chicago, she has been living in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia for over twenty-five years.