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J. Lee Ball
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Yellow Springs, Ohio

J. Lee Ball is a former English and humanities professor at a small Ohio college. Years of reading and doing research for scholarly articles have made her a research fanatic. Articles done for newspapers, magazines, journals, and books have ranged from Truman Capote to Jackie Collins, from Gordon Parks to Virginia Hamilton. The story of Arrigo, a talented 18th Century nine-year-old boy, is the culmination of years of seeing talented youngsters used by the entertainment world to make money for it: from Jackie Coogan whose acting talent made a fortune for others to Michael Jackson, whose talent was so awesomely apparent when he started out as a little boy. Setting the novel in 18th Century Italy provided an element of danger to the story. The castrato phenomenon, with its risky surgery and psychological implications, was the basis for a story that could not have taken place in any other time. While there was no conscious attempt to relate parts of the story to the present day, some of the characters with ties to Catholicism bring to mind some of the concerns making headlines today. The author intends to continue the story from the time Arrigo is nine until he is 23 or 24 and has immigrated to the “new” United States. The proposed trilogy, with attention to historical accuracy, is an almost picaresque tale of 18th Century Italy and America.

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by J. Lee Ball ~ 0-7414-1200-4 ©2002
Price: $15.95

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