Virginia James Tufte:
The title has two origins. One is the quilts made by my mother,
Sally James—Sarah Elizabeth Bartee James. She made quilts for six decades,
collecting, cutting, and sewing together thousands of pieces to form
beautiful, practical comforters when her children were growing up and,
later, elaborate formal patterns that were works of art. Sometimes on
one piece in the quilt, or on the lining, she would embroider a little
design composed of her initials decorated with tiny flowers. The quilt
was personal, and she was its author.
The title comes also from my work as a young reporter for four years
on the city staff of The Omaha World-Herald. For my city editor,
a "piece" was a bylined feature with participation and opinion by
the writer rather than the attempt at impersonal reporting called for
in regular news stories at that time. Several pieces in the present
collection refer to newspaper features published with my byline: among
the topics are my memories of a day with Eleanor Roosevelt in 1938, a
week among movie stars in 1940, and a one-day stint in 1937 working
as a maid after the county relief director threatened to stop payments
to women who would not accept such jobs.
182 pages, paperback.