I talked to Deseree Liddell Perry for Deseree Liddell and Mary Loise Ruehr at the Ohioana Book Festival.
Tell me about your book and why you wrote it.
My name is Deseree Liddell Perry. I am representing my mother Deseree Liddell. She is ninety seven. She couldn’t be at the book fair today.
Tell me about the process of producing the book.
Mary Louise Ruehr.
It started with notes and her diary. I interviewed her many times. We became friends. Every time I she told the story, she would tell a little bit more. I added it in and put it all together and it came out a book. We worked on it for about five years. The pandemic slowed us down. She is ninety seven now. She didn’t want to risk going out or meeting with people. The book was completed last summer.
Tell me a little bit about the book.
It is the story of her life. Her great grandmother was a slave. Deseree grew up in Mississippi during Jim Crow. It was very hard. She told some stories that were terrorizing. When she got married, her husband’s life was threatened, so they moved to the North. When she landed in Ohio, the community was backward. The black residential area was not equipped with infrastructure (no sewer, water or electricity). She had to fight for that. Her fight for a decent community is part of the book.
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
This is a story of family and faith. It is very uplifting.