Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate
Author Judy Christie has had lunch at the White House with First Lady Nancy Reagan; met Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon; and ridden across a Southern city in a hot air balloon. She’s run marathons — 26.2 miles — in Alaska and at Disney World, been chased by a monkey on a city street, fished for piranha on the Amazon, and once got a black eye playing putt-putt at the beach. She’s always up for a good story and a good adventure. And no matter what she’s doing, Judy enjoys reading, writing, and talking about books.
Judy has had 18 books published, including three Southern small-town series and her “Hurry Less Worry Less” series on how to slow down and enjoy life more. An award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for 25 years, Judy co-authored the upcoming Before and After: Real-Life Stories of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, interviewing adoptees who survived the orphanage that operated nefariously from 1925-1950. Her co-author on the Random House release is longtime writer friend Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours, international bestselling novel about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.
Judy is married to a retired teacher and lives in rural Colorado — another adventure that inspires her writing projects.
Lisa Wingate is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Before We Were Yours, which has remained on the NYT Bestseller List Hardcover and softcover lists for 104 weeks and has sold over 2.5 million copies. She has penned over thirty novels and coauthored a nonfiction book, Before and After with Judy Christie. Her April 2020 novel, The Book Of Lost Friends, became an instant New York Times Bestseller and has remained there six weeks and counting. The story follows an unlikely trio of girls coming of age as they embark on a perilous journey through reconstruction Louisiana and Texas… and a modern-day teacher in small-town Louisiana who rediscovers their story. The Book Of Lost Friends was inspired by the real-life “Lost Friends” ads, through which families separated during slavery sought to find their lost loved ones in the chaos following the Civil War. A reader and museum volunteer from the Historic New Orleans Collection connected Lisa with HNOC’s vast database of over 2500 Lost Friends ads, which chronicle the heart wrenching and hope-filled searches of separated families, and which inspired the story of eighteen-year-old Hannie Gossett in the novel.
Lisa lives with her husband in North Texas. More information about her novels can be found at www.lisawingate.com.
Before and After
The compelling, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach
From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.
The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.
Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, many of the long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with the authors to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.
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