Cambridge woman to hold book signing of Cloquet Fire
Cambridge author Marilee Selin will hold a book signing at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge for her book, “The Red Box: A Child’s Memoir,” on Saturday, Feb. 11.
“The Red Box” is based on the life and experiences of Mary Alice Selin, Marilee Selin’s mother-in-law, who, along with her three sisters and brother, was raised by a single father after their mother was institutionalized for mental health issues. It was unusual for a father to raise children on his own. The book signing will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Selin based the book on interviews with Mary, as well as research into the history of her family and of Bain, the small community in Aitkin County they called home.
Selin calls the book a work of “enhanced nonfiction” because while the story is grounded in fact, it is told in the first person from the perspective of Mary Selin as a child. All of the dialogue in the book is necessarily imagined.
When she was a child, Mary Selin and her siblings lived through Cloquet-Moose Lake fire of 1918, which burned most of Bain and forms the book’s climax. The children were home alone when the fire broke out, and they escaped on their own.
The red wooden box referred to by the book’s title was used to carry the family’s only surviving possessions safely away from the fire.