ebook ∣ Falling Off the Family Tree: The Search for My Melungeon Ancestors
By Lisa Alther
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Bestselling author Lisa Alther's family memoir—now available as an ebook Every family has secrets, and Lisa Alther seeks to get to the bottom of hers in a book that explains her ancestral relation to the obscure Melungeon people of Appalachia As a young girl in eastern Tennessee, Lisa Alther was warned by her babysitter about the six-fingered Melungeons who came for naughty children. Her imagination was sparked by the mystery of the Melungeons, a little-known people living in the hills of eastern Tennessee and western Virginia whose dark features set them apart from society and made them victims of racist policies. Years later, after writing several bestselling novels inspired by her Southern family, she wondered why her grandmother, a founding member of the Virginia Club, never, in fact, returned to Virginia. And why were her grandparents so proud of their colonial heritage, yet so tight-lipped about certain other branches of the family? Could there be a Melungeon connection? In this fascinating journey to the heart of Appalachia and the origins of Southern history, Alther investigates the mystery of the Melungeons: Where did they come from, who are they, and what, if any, connection does her family have to them? Could they be the descendants of Portuguese sailors, Romani refugees, Cherokees, Lost Colony survivors, or even Sephardic Jews? Kinfolks is Alther's engaging examination of a fascinating and often unknown story of the colonial South. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lisa Alther, including rare photos from the author's personal collection.