Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Applause series to feature author Jacqueline Sheehan

AGAWAM The Agawam Cultural Council, as part of the second season of their APPLAUSE series, will welcome Jacqueline Sheehan, author of Truth, a historically accurate novel about a slave, Isabella, who became Sojourner Truth.

The presentation will take place at the Agawam Public Library, 750 Cooper Street, Agawam Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Sheehan is a psychologist, fiction writer and essayist who lives in western Massachusetts and works at Westfield State College. Her second novel, The Year of Animal Hearts, has just been accepted for publication.

The audience will have a chance to perceive what it would feel like at the age of nine to be sold away from your family, who were slaves to a Dutch farmer in upstate New York, to become the property of three slave masters, one more cruel than the others.

You would be beaten, have no clothes but the rags you came with, forced to sleep in the barn with no proper bedding, and forbidden to speak the only language you knew, Dutch.

Every cruelty Isabella suffers is felt by the reader as a result of Sheehan's vivid writing. Every tiny triumph in Isabella's life as she moves to become Sojourner Truth is also experienced by the reader in the author's skilled hands.

It took five years of research to complete Truth. Ms. Sheehan will share those years with the audience, as well as discussing writing in general and personal terms.

The Agawam Cultural Council, an all-volunteer organization, is funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is charged with enhancing opportunities to enrich the lives of the community through the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences.

More information about this and other events can be found at and at locations throughout Agawam.