April 2, 2011 - Jean Stringam

Dr. Jean Stringam’s novels The Hoarders and Balance are the first of four novels in a series that explores how the events of one year impact the lives of an extended family of cousins. While the protagonists are involved in many events singular to their own lives, the major family events are seen by different eyes as having different values, even different meanings. A reader will discover that some narrators turn out to be fairly unreliable while others are searingly accurate, but each earnestly believes the small slice of reality that s/he is able to understand is the total view of the matter. The stories are anchored in contemporary culture and investigate ways the current generation of teens respond to being raised by their Gen-Me parents and Boomer grandparents. While the impact of extended family is central, other values of North American culture are also explored: from sex to cell phones, from non-communication and cyber-bullying to constant texting and dissembling affection, from cruel acts to the sublimity of genuine love. Readers young and old report being captivated by the drama of a family who, in the muddle of living, still manage to find and give their love. Jean Stringam grew up in Alberta, Canada, taking three of her five degrees there, and remembers wonderful days riding horses, back-packing, and skiing with her family in the Canadian Rockies. Now that she lives far away from her five children and five sisters, located on both sides of the 49th parallel, she spends a lot of time travelling to see them. When they get together they love to make music, attend live theatre, and hear each other’s tales.

Nowadays she’s either teaching for her university in Missouri or, better yet, she’s teaching for them in a foreign country such as China or England. She loves to travel. If she had her way, she would visit every country in the world including all the oceans, rivers, forests, and jungles. Whenever anyone asks her where home is, she thinks about all the people she has loved. If she could get them all together in one wonderful, happy pile, that would be home. You can visit her at

Please also note that we will not be meeting in our regular room this time. Join us in the Story Room at the Library Station at the usual times.

Ozarks Romance Authors, a non-profit group for writers of all genres founded in 1987, holds its meetings the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway, in Springfield, Missouri. Join us for critique group at 10:00 a.m., lunch at noon, and our meeting/guest speaker at 1:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Your first three visits are free. If you have questions about the group, please email us at NOTE: When the first Saturday of the month falls on a holiday weekend, we often reschedule. If you’re thinking of visiting and it’s a holiday weekend, please email us to find out if we have rescheduled.