Petry, the great-niece of Anna Louise James and daughter of Ann Petry, will reveal the reasons Miss James became the first African American woman to obtain a pharmacy license and operate a pharmacy for more than forty years in Old Saybrook. She will also discuss the writings of her mother, a best selling novelist, and will include readings from her essay, “Just Like Georgia, Except for the Climate: Black Life at Mid-Century in Ann Petry’s The Narrows,” which appeared in "African American Connecticut Explored".
A native of Old Saybrook, Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. Her first book, a collection of letters that she edited, is titled "Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family’s Letters". Her second is "At Home Inside: A Daughter’s Tribute to Ann Petry", published in 2008. Liz has also taught English and is conducting a weekly writer’s workshop for military veterans. She lives with her husband, Lawrence Riley, in Middletown.
Copies of "African American Connecticut Explored" as well as copies of Petry’s books will be available for purchase and inscription. Russell Library is handicap accessible. For further information, contact the Historical Society at 860-346-0746.