On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Arkansas novelist and memoirist Cara Brookins about her book, Little Boy Blu, a novel loosely based on the "blue people" of Hazard County, Kentucky, who suffered from methemoglobinemia. This rare hereditary blood disorder results from excess levels of methemoglobin in the blood. It is passed on as a recessive gene, which turns the skin blue.
In Little Boy Blu, we explore the hills and hollers, make our way through a copse of trees and into the crook of a valley—the sort of place common in Hazard County.
Brookins, a computer programmer by day and writer by night, is the author of six novels including: Doris Free, The Time Shifters Trilogy, Gadget Geeks, and Little Boy Blu, published by The Wild Rose Press in 2014. Her books are often about "youngsters surviving small odds, coming to understand terrifying secrets and overcoming loneliness and isolation."
Her latest memoir, Rise: How a House Built a Family, details how she and her four children left an abusive marriage to build a house from the ground up, with the help of their own ingenuity and YouTube videos.
Support for this program is made available through generous funding from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.