Minnesota author Sheila O’Connor will lead a virtual event at noon Monday, June 22, about her award-winning novel, “Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts and Fictions.”
The event is being offered in partnership with the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library, which has taken its Brown Bag Lunch Summer Author Series virtual.
The recent recipient of the Minnesota Book Award and Foreword’s Editor’s Choice Award, among others honors, “Evidence of V” was inspired by the true story of the author's maternal grandmother’s six-year incarceration as a 15-year-old girl for an unplanned pregnancy in 1935, a news release stated. The novel incorporates multiple genres as well as historical documents to bring to light the little-known practice of incarcerating girls for immorality at the Minnesota Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre and across the United States.
O’Connor has continued to raise awareness of this silenced Minnesota history despite the constraints of the virus.
“Although my events have gone virtual, I remain committed to reaching out to communities across Minnesota whose families may have been affected by similar circumstances, and to raise awareness of this treatment of girls and women within the criminal justice system,” O’Connor stated. Ultimately, O’Connor hopes to connect with survivors and descendants whose stories have yet to be told.
In addition to recent awards, “Evidence of V” is listed as one of the Best Criminal Justice Books of the Year by the Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. It is also a nominee for the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.