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Flora MacCallum's Little Sister, Maggie

For an historical fiction writer whose own protagonist is little more than a name, birthdate and deathdate in the genealogical record, this image of my protagonist's little sister is worth more than a thousand words. When I first saw Tom Kerr's article on Margaret MacCallum, accompanied by this likeness made from an old glass plate negative, I had already written a chapter or two of Anangokaa. The seven year old Maggie was real and dear to me. Seeing her in the flesh, as an old woman no less, made my heart quicken. I could not tear my eyes away from her gaze- this stoic gaze which radiates a lifetime of privation, accomplishment, loss and survival.






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