Local Author Spotlight

Our community is home to a large number of outstanding authors. To celebrate them, we will offer – every two months – an introduction to a different children's or adult author who resides or works in one of the four towns in our school district and who has published a new book within the past year. The selection shall be made by a vote of our librarians. Happy reading!

See More Books by Local Authors!

January – February 2022
Patricia Romney


Do you have a special library memory?

When I was a little girl my neighborhood in the Bronx had no library. Every week a bookmobile would come and I would take out as many books as possible. I am grateful for that bookmobile and I also wish that one of the librarians, who saw me every week, had taken an interest in me and guided my reading. This never happened, likely because it was the 1950s and I was a little black girl in an all-white neighborhood. I know the librarians at the Jones Library make connections with marginalized youth and others in need.

Is there a member of this community who has been instrumental to your writing?

For many years, I wrote with Pat Schneider in her weekly writing group for women. Her encouragement and that of the other women in the group made all the difference. I remember my last visit to Pat in the nursing home when I was still looking for a publisher. She did everything to make sure my book got published. Her mentorship meant so much and I miss her still.

Pat Romney

Do you have a favorite book that is set in or is about the Pioneer Valley or New England?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Like many other young women of my generation who wanted to be writers, I was inspired by Jo March. I also believe that somewhere in that story lay the roots of my feminism.

Why did you write your new book?

I wrote this book so that young women of color and other young activists would know about their foremothers and the work we did for social change and intersectionality in the 1970s. Much has been written about The Third World Women's Alliance, but I want young women to hear the story from the women who lived it. This book is meant to inform and inspire action for equity and justice.

New Book
by Patricia

Patricia's Favorite Books  (with her comments)

I read a lot of non-fiction and love memoir, in particular. The books I’ve listed, in different ways, have opened a path for me and mirrored back to me who I am and what I care about.

[NOTE: Song in a Weary Throat: Memoir of an American Pilgrimage by Pauli Murray was later reissued as Pauli Murray: The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest, and Poet.]

Authors Previously Spotlighted

Martín Espada

John Clayton

Barbara Elleman

Pawan Dhingra

Martha Ackmann

Jonathan Adolph

Lawrence Douglas

Annye C. Anderson

Artemis Roehrig & Corrine Demas

Ilan Stavans

Ocean Vuong

Christopher Benfey

Micha Archer

Joanne Creighton

Bruce Watson

Aaron Becker

Charles Mann

Holly Black

Lewis Mainzer

Nicole Blum & Catherine Newman

Michael Ponsor

David Hyde Costello

William Taubman

Rich Michelson

Madeleine Blais

Cammie McGovern

View our earlier Local Author Spotlights by year: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 & 2017 | Or browse more books by local authors