More of this World or Maybe Another by 5th Gift of Freedom Winner, Barb Johnson, is a collection of short stories in which the lives of four unlikely friends intersect on the backstreets of New Orleans. Living amid poverty and violence, these fragile heroes of the American underclass redefine our notions of family, redemption, and love. Described by Dorothy Allison as “Stunning stories…the kind that reveal, enlarge, and make living seem worth the trouble,” and by Meredith Hall as “heartbreaking and overflowing with tenderness…with quiet humor and extraordinary understanding, Johnson pieces together characters I won’t forget.”
I continue to learn what it is to be an author, to separate the author’s duties from the writer’s needs, and to leave those two alone now and then so I can spend a little time just living. And all of this learning has been made easier and faster through the Gift of Freedom, something so good, I still can’t believe it’s true. For all the inequities in the writing world–the lack of women’s voices, the missing stories–the Gift of Freedom is not just the promise of change, but an actual agent o change. There’s plenty of talk to go around, but money and action, they say what needs saying. And, according to the Gift of Freedom, women can do the saying…Thank you for acknowledging my hard work, for believing in my will and my stories, for giving me two years of support and a lifetime membership in the sort of club every writer dreams of belonging to.