Sue Monk Kidd’s latest book, The Invention of Wings, is a novel, but it’s based on the very real lives of sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimké, abolitionists and suffragists in the first half of the 19th Century. Their story is little told outside of academic circle, but Kidd would argue that it’s just as important, and just as interesting.
The Invention of Wings is based on fact, but it’s mainly a fictionalized account of Sarah and the enslaved girl, Hetty, given to Sarah on her 11th birthday. The story follows the girls as they grow up and strive to become something larger than what society expected of them.
Sue Monk Kidd spoke to an audience at the Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall last night. Beforehand, she sat down with Lake Effect’s Bonnie North to talk about the book. You can also hear her read two sections of the book here – the first is in Hetty's voice, the second in Sarah’s.
Kidd is also the award–winning author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair.