The Remarkable Story of "Mother George" on AU Wednesday

May 1, 2012

Tom Williams talks to Lee G. Cantwell about his book Mother George, the Midwife Who Shocked Grays Lake.

Cantwell's book is historical fiction based on the amazing factual story of a black midwife who practiced her art in southeastern Idaho for 40 years and died around 1919. When Mother George died, the women who were dressing her for burial discovered she was a man.

There wasn't any historical data that could help Cantwell answer the questions begged by this story: How would a black man learn the skills of midwifery and surgery during that period of time? And why would he masquerade as a woman for over 40 years in a remote community in southeastern Idaho?

And so he turned to fiction to fill in the gaps.

Our program today is a rebroadcast that originally aired in 2011.