Known for its technological, political, social, religious and political upheaval, the Tudor period was a significant era in English history. Rilla Askew’s Prize for the Fire is the tragic and passionate story of an actual woman who lived during the reign of Henry VIII. Askew will discuss her newly-released novel at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at the Allen Public Library. Admission to the program is free, and it will be streamed live on ACTV. Find viewing options at Watch ACTV or view online at ACTV.org or YouTube.com/AllenCityTV.
The book shares the tale of Anne Askew, a woman determined to free herself from her abusive husband, harsh in-laws, and the cruel strictures of her married life. But this is the England of Henry VIII, where religion and politics are dangerously entangled. A young woman of Anne’s fierce independence, Reformist faith, uncanny command of plainspoken scripture, and connections to Queen Katheryn Parr’s court cannot long escape official notice or censure.
When asked what her source of inspiration was for writing this book, Rilla observes, “I learned about Anne Askew when I was quite young and was always fascinated with her because we share the same last name. We’re not related, as far as I know, but that fascination led me to uncover more of her story and eventually to write about her.” Anne was an independent woman, fearless, a writer, a woman of strong faith and keen mind who defied the Tudor patriarchy as she sought to live and believe as she desired.
Rilla Askew is a novelist, essayist, and short-story writer known for her award-winning historical fiction. Fire in Beulah, her novel about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, received the American Book Award. Her Dust Bowl novel, Harpsong, received the Oklahoma Book Award. Rilla is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma.
Books will be available for purchase. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911