“Elizabeth’s Field captures the realities of pre-Civil War life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and creates characters that struggle in extraordinary adversity and ponder unanswerable questions about God, justice, and the place of human beings in nature. Lockhart traces the branches and offshoots of several generations of black families, their histories merging, the memories of their grandparents’ miseries fading, yet not forgotten. Her carefully limned descriptions of the land-the profusion of its flora and the turning of the seasons-are masterful. Through fully rounded characters and lyrical prose, Lockhart’s novel teaches some hard lessons about man’s inhumanity to man.” Kathryn Lang, former editor Southern Methodist University Press
Here’s an excerpt where we read of something in life for which all humans strive, something which can belong to the character for the first time in her life:
“Meanwhile her deed was conveyed and she made her mark on the paper which was read to her, listened as her name was announced right there at the courthouse in Cambridge: Elizabeth Burton, free Negress.. She obsessed over the thought of Perry being gone and there was only her name on the deed. She hated the singleness of it.The land was hers. She’d never consider it so. She’d never forget. With the deed in hand, she walked the field out to Perry’s grave and talked to him. “It ours,” she said to the wooden cross and the bare ground.”And it will be the chilren’s someday. We done good in this life, Perry. We leavin’ somthin’ for ’em.”
The author describes her writing life and how living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland has helped her: “Originally from the Bronx, my husband and I and my three children moved to the Shore 45 years ago, to a dilapidated farm house sitting on 22 acres of farmland. The shock of that experience certainly deserves its own book, but I have inserted my growing love for this place in everything I write. My life here has been a paradise I never dreamed possible. After a startling/devastating adjustment to single life, I began to seriously consider the land and the garden, loved the moonlit nights with views of house and tree shadows on the lawn, the sound of spring peepers in February, the advance of red buds on the sugar maple trees, the hot summers and their abundance, the luxury of days on the porch, the harvesting of corn in September, the trees outlined with snow in winter, and the pond glimmering through the woods. Approaching the house at night, it stands as a beacon of light in a sea of darkness, and I am home.”
Barbara has spent years paying her dues to get her books read and discussed. She has conducted workshops throughout Maryland and Delaware with regard to Read to me, Talk with me, Mosey’s Field, and has appeared on television after the publication of Once a Pony Time and Requiem for a Summer Cottage. Readings and lectures on her work have taken place at Salisbury University, Barnes and Noble, Eastern Shore Writers Association, Bay to Ocean Writing Conference, Dorchester Historical Society, The Reginald F. Lewis African-American Museum, Enoch Pratt Library, several Eastern Shore libraries and book clubs.
Check her website at http://www.barbaramarielockhart.com. Her books can be purchased at Amazon and fine bookstores.