The latest podcast interview with Joanne Joseph delves into the American writer's true story about two African American brothers with albinism who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother endured a 28-year struggle to get them back.
Beth Masey's book is called Trueveine, a kidnapping and a mother's quest.
The story took a long time to write, explains Masey.
The first time I heard about this story...I was warned that their caretaker, who was this very strong matriarchal niece of theirs, didn't want anybody near them.— Beth Masey, author
She says the woman turned out to be an incredible person, but it took a while to get her on board. She owned a soul food restaurant that was fantastic.
Like any kind of long-form journalism, it rests on getting the people involved to trust you and create a real relationship.— Beth Masey, author
I think she learned to trust me because I went away but I kept coming back because I liked her food. Agreeing to the book proposal took 25 years.— Beth Masey, author
She explains how young George and Willie were kidnapped. They said they were kidnapped from a tobacco field.
It was important to point out that there were several different stories about what had happened, she says.
She says the story about the boys and the circus was written about many times, but no one had ever asked the family what happened.
Take a listen to the inspiring interview below: