While living in England, Anne Steinberg’s first novel, Manroot was published by Headline Review in London. Manroot was heralded as an important first novel in 1994 and included in the Headline Review’s prestigious “Fiction without Frontiers,” a new wave of contemporary fiction that knows no limits. Eight modern storytellers were featured: Anne Steinberg, Margaret Atwood, Iain Banks, William Gibson, Peter Hoeg, Roddy Doyle, and E. Annie Proulx. It was an auspicious beginning to a long and varied career for Anne Steinberg, who went on to write several acclaimed novels, Every Town Needs A Russian Tea Room, the story of a wealthy socialite who falls in love with a penniless young Russian immigrant who is haunted by a bizarre shameful secret, The Cuckoos Gift, First Hands, and An Eye For An Ear. She is also coauthor of The Fence, written with her grandson Nicholas Reuel Tolkien, the great grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien. Nicholas is a filmmaker, director, and published poet. The Fence is a chilling story of a magnificent Gothic fence forged by a despicable blacksmith and infused with evil.
Anne was a partner in the world famous vintage clothing store, Steinberg & Tolkien, on Kings Road in Chelsea. After a successful run for over 20 years, the shop closed, and she returned to the US. Approaching her eighty-second birthday, she now writes, reads, and studies antiques, American Indian history, animal welfare, mythology, and folklore legends.
Anne recently re-released Manroot in kindle format. It was published March 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon.
In the spring of 1939, Katherine Sheahan and her father, the taciturn Irishman Jesse, are looking for work in the isolated tourist town of Castlewood, Missouri, which offers bathing, gambling and adultery. Jesse gets a job as handyman and Katherine as maid at a small hotel. Jesse drinks and neglects his work and eventually disappears, abandoning his daughter. Katherine discovers the ginseng, the manroot, and other secrets of the foothills; she discovers herself as a natural healer who has inherited this gift from her Navajo Indian mother. She also has a special but unwelcome gift. She can communicate with spirits.
Among the hotel s regular clientele is Judge William Reardon, a local hero who metes out justice by day, then drinks the foul taste away at night. Escaping his sterile marriage, he becomes captivated by Katherine. He is like a man reborn. Theirs is a union of like-minded souls, but a dangerous dark magic is released. Can their love survive?
A powerful, haunting novel that explores the powerful themes of identity and destiny, love everlasting and its brutal twin, violence.
Lisa’s Review: I received this book from the author for an honest review.
This book is filled with a lot of raw emotion. At the point you feel happiness for the characters, something happens and your struck down with another emotion. It’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster but it is really well written.
The characters are complex and endure some difficult situations, especially Katherine. My heart really went out to her. She endured a difficult upbringing and as she entered into adulthood it didn’t become easier for her.
This book also contains a magic quality to it. It really becomes prevalent towards the end. The book was well paced and kept my attention. I really enjoyed it and recommend it.
Interview With Anne
What’s the best part about being an author?
The best part about being an author is that you can say things that you really think and blame it on your make believe people.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find the everyday practical stuff a bother. I don’t type so I must depend on my typist to know where the commas and various punctuation marks go. I hand write my novels, then give them to my typist. It can be very challenging.
What are your must have writing accessories?
My writing accessories are tons of legal size pads and many different pens in various size fonts, thin line, jel pens, markers, highlighters, and many different colors to enhance lines I wish to point out. I tried pencils, but keeping them sharpened was too much of a chore.
What kind of research did you do for Manroot?
On research I read local papers and checked with the library on certain fact. I spoke with many older people who had lived in the area their whole lives and knew unusal bits of gossip.
Which character in Manroot are you most like?
Its a different gender but I feel most like the judge. Here I am grown up and sensible but I still yearn for the
things I loved as a child, the wonder of the stars, the incredible magic of a growing plant and all of the worlds wonder that you seem to forget when growing up.
Was there any part in Manroot that was difficult for you to write?
The most difficult part is starting. It’s fun and easy when ideas are rolling around in your head but those first words you put on paper is truly like the first step in a journey of a million miles.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
The title of a book about my life would be AGAINST ALL ODDS.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?
I honestly can’t think of anything.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The only thing I want to say to my readers is you have a wonderful trait, the thirst to know other peoples worlds. I feel sad for people who haven t mastered the curiosity of opening the book and take that unknown journey.
-One ebook of Manroot by Anne Steinberg