Even As We Breathe immerses us in a specific place and time, Asheville’s Grove Park Inn when it was being used to house Axis diplomats and their families in 1942, and in the Qualla Boundary where Cherokee traditions are deeply embedded but in conflict with an ever encroaching outside world. But the story of Cowney Sequoyah and Essie Stamper is also timeless and universal, exploring what it means to lose innocence and to find ‘who we are supposed to be.’ Most importantly, the book is beautifully written, with convincing, well-drawn characters and compelling imagery that tie the various stories together. This first novel by an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians exemplifies the quality of the most compelling regional writing.” – Catherine Frank, Chair of the selection committee

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Even As We Breathe