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The tempestuous, tragic love story of a beautiful Jewish immigrant and a charismatic black man during the early twentieth century

Mags Preacher, a young black woman with a dream, arrives in St. Louis from the piney woods of her family home in 1916, hoping to learn the beauty trade. She knows nothing about Jews except that they killed the Lord Jesus Christ. Then she begins working for Mr. Fishbein, an Eastern European émigré who fled the pogroms that shattered his life to become the proprietor of Fishbein’s Funeral Home. By the time he saves Mags from certain death during the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, all her perceptions have changed. But Mr. Fishbein’s daughter, the troubled redheaded beauty Minerva, is a different matter. There is something wrong with the girl, something dangerous, something fateful. And it is Magnus Bailey, Mags’s first friend in the city, who learns to what heights and depths the girl’s willful spirit can drive a man.

Marching to Zion is the tragic story of Minerva Fishbein and Magnus Bailey, a charismatic black man and the longtime business partner of Minerva’s father. From the brutal riots of East St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1920s and the Depression, Marching to Zion is a tale of passion, betrayal, and redemption during an era in America when interracial love could not go unpunished. Readers of Mary Glickman’s One More River will celebrate the return of Aurora Mae Stanton, who joins a cast of vibrant new characters in this tense and compelling Southern-Jewish novel that examines the price of love and the interventions of fate.

ABOUT Mary Glickman

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Born Mary Kowalski on the south shore of Boston, Massachusetts, Mary Glickman grew up the fourth of seven children in a traditional Irish-Polish Catholic family. Her father had been a pilot in the Army Air Force and later flew for Delta Air Lines. From an early age, Mary was fascinated by faith. Though she attended Catholic school and as a child wanted to become a nun, her attention eventually turned to the Old Testament and she began what would become a lifelong relationship with Jewish culture. “Joseph Campbell said that religion is the poetry that speaks to a man’s soul,” Mary has said, “and Judaism was my soul’s symphony.”

    In her twenties, Mary traveled in Europe and explored her passion for writing, composing short stories and poetry. Returning to the United States, she met her future husband, Stephen, a lawyer, and with his encouragement began to consider writing as a career. She enrolled in the Masters in Creative Writing program at Boston University, under the poet George Starbuck, who encouraged her to focus on fiction writing. While taking an MFA class with the late Ivan Gold, Mary completed her first novel, Drones, which received a finalist award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities but was never published.

    Mary also began a career as a freelance writer working with nonprofit organizations on projects ranging from a fund-raising campaign for the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center to an instructional video for the National Scoliosis Foundation’s screening project. Mary and Stephen married in 1978. Mary made a full conversion to Judaism and later worked as treasurer/secretary for her synagogue.

    The origins of her love for all things Southern arose from a sabbatical year. In 1987, Mary and Stephen first traveled to the south of Spain, soaking in the life of a fishing village called La Cala. After seven months abroad and, hoping to extend their time away, they sought a warm—and more affordable—locale. The romance of Charleston, South Carolina, its Spanish moss, antebellum architecture, and rich cultural life beckoned.

    Settling into a rented house on Seabrook Island, Mary fell in love with the people, language, and rural beauty of her new home. Following a lifelong desire to ride horses, Mary took a position mucking the stalls at the local equestrian center and embraced riding, finding her match in an Appaloosa named King of Harts. The sabbatical ended and the couple returned to life in Boston, but the passion for Southern culture remained with them. They were able to return permanently to Seabrook Island in 2008, where they currently reside with their cat and, until recently, her beloved horse, King of Harts.

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