The Rising Shore - Roanoke: a novel by Deborah Homsher
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From Blood to Verdict
by Deborah Homsher
McBooks Press
ISBN 0-935526-20-X (pbk)
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From Blood to Verdict: Three Women on Trial

In From Blood to Verdict, Homsher explores three trials involving women that took place in an upstate New York college town. Shirley Kinge was accused of helping clean up the house of the family her son had murdered. Christine Lane was convicted of suffocating and burying her young daughter. Deborah Dennett was acquitted of killing her husband, a powerful local attorney, with a shotgun blast to the head. No one questioned that she had shot him; her defense rested on the contention that she had been abused by him for years.

Homsher interviews people who sided with the victims and the defendants in every case, including friends, trial witnesses, jury members, police, and attorneys. And she watches to see how American jury trials work. Though our trials attempt to insure testimony is "objective," they rely on heated confrontations between attorneys. As a result, the jury is given two exaggerated portraits of the accused: as villain and victim. Ultimately, the heartfelt stories witnesses long to tell are broken into fragments by the machinery of a trial, so that by the end the community is left with bits and pieces of evidence. Trials do not help us comprehend tragedy; they serve to box, tape, and store it away.

"Since the first murderer was banished to the wilderness, the trail of private violence has never been disentangled from the thickets of daily circumstance. As Homsher points out, 'the truth will not be found' by rituals of courts or journalism. Yet profound trouble in the heart goads us on 'to catch the thing that makes victims. Catch it. Look at it. Tell it to stop.' Such impassioned need illuminates the stories here and reclaims some territory from the ignorant dark where the beast lives." - R. V. Cassill, novelist and editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction

Women and Guns
by Deborah Homsher
M. E. Sharpe Publishers
ISBN 0-7656-0679-8 (pbk)
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Other Titles by M. E. Sharpe

Women and Guns:
Politics and the Culture of Firearms in America

This book is about American women in the 1990s, their experiences with guns and their responses to the ferocious public debate about guns and violence that irrevocably changed our national politics, making them more hotly partisan. The author has interviewed women from every walk of life, average citizens in a variety of situations, whose engagement with guns is recreational, peripheral, or tragic. These women include attendees at an anti-gun rally in Washington; victims of gun violence and spousal abuse; members of a shooting club; women who hunt, or who carry handguns for self-defense; women who participate in "gun games"; female militia members; inner city women, mothers of wounded young men; and a host of others. Women and Guns examines how anti-gun and pro-gun advocacy groups used statistics and stories as ammunition in their rhetorical battles, and how the phrases they popularize then influence - but do not entirely determine - women's perspectives on their own lives and the state of the nation.

"Congratulations on an excellent book! You managed to capture the subtle nuances of the pros and cons of many firearms-related issues, while presenting a thoughtful mix of facts, opinions, and personal stories of people who are deeply concerned about these complex questions. I've already recommended your book to someone who is putting together a seminar on women's self-defense for undergraduates." - Lyn Bates, vice-president AWARE

" ... by examining the lives of real women living very different lives, and their relationships with guns, Homsher helps us all to think more clearly and perhaps to be more willing to join others of different persuasions in lifting that big gear back into place, the way democracy is meant to work: Discuss, understand, compromise, settle, and move forward." - Perspectives on Political Science

"Women and Guns is neither pro- nor anti-gun control, but a clear, balanced, methodical, insightful examination of what is happening with respect to this hot button social issue. Highly recommended for academic and community library reference collections, Women and Guns throws a spotlight of information and resources on the pressing danger and allure of guns in American society." - The Midwest Book Review

THE RISING SHORE - ROANOKE is a novel by Deborah Homsher.