Lisa Williamson Rosenberg
Embers on the Wind
In 1850, Whittaker House stood as a Massachusetts stop on the Underground Railroad. It’s where two freedom seekers, Little Annie and Clementine, hid and perished in a fire. Whittaker House still stands. And Little Annie and Clementine still linger, their dreams of freedom unfulfilled.
Now a fashionably distressed vacation rental in the Berkshires, Whittaker House draws seekers of another kind, Black women who only appear to be free. Among them are Dominque, a single mother following her Grandmere’s stories to Whittaker House in search of an ancestor. And Michelle, Dominique’s lover, who has journeyed to the Berkshire mountains to heal her own traumas. And Kaye, Michelle’s sister, a seer whose visions reveal the past and future secrets of the former safehouse—along with her own.
For each of them, true liberation can only come from uncovering their connection to history—and to the spirits awaiting peace and redemption within the walls of Whittaker House.
EMBERS ON THE WIND was inspired by my father-in-law’s home, a former safehouse on the Underground Railroad, where a female escapee was rumored to have died. As the only adult of color who visited, I always wondered what her spirit would think about my presence.
Publisher: Little A Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2022
"Lisa Williamson Rosenberg's Embers on the Wind is a delight that will keep you turning pages to the very end. Her lyrical writing transports us from the 19th century Underground Railroad to the Brooklyn of today, and in Rosenberg's hands, the history is as vibrant as present-day life. The women in this book are searching for freedom, and luckily for us readers, they bring us along for the magical ride." - (Cary Barbor, Host of All Things Considered WGCU, NPR & PBS)
"Lisa Rosenberg captures both the conflagration of slavery and its ignited sprawl through time in this stirring collection of linked stories surrounding Whittaker House --a location imbued with Morrison's "site of memory" connecting people by time, circumstance, and of course, place. Whittaker House is as impressively rendered on the page as it is in our collective literary imagination of places with long memories and the people who comprise and/or curate the histories and stories of them. Embers on the Wind speaks of our connections-- temporal, relative, corporeal and spiritual-- in ways that reckon with an ever-present past." - (M Shelly Conner, PhD., author of everyman, a novel)
"Centering on a Berkshires home that was part of the Underground Railroad, Embers on the Wind bends time to bring together a kaleidoscope of Black and white lives that seek, shatter, and rise in a stunning conclusion. Lisa Williamson Rosenberg has written a powerful, haunting tale of the modern African American diaspora." - (Laurie Lico Albanese, author of Stolen Beauty and Hester, coming October 2022)
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Lisa Williamson Rosenberg is an author and psychotherapist specializing in complex trauma and racial identity. Lisa is also a former ballet dancer, with articles published in Longreads, Narrative.ly, Grok Nation, and The Common.
Lisa’s short fiction has appeared in Literary Mama and the Piltdown review. Her short story “Coffee Shop,"" which later became a chapter in EMBERS ON THE WIND, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A born-and-raised New Yorker, Lisa now lives in Montclair New Jersey with her husband and dog. She is the mother of two college kids.
Tags: Adult, Literary, Women's Fiction, BIPOC