A Book Worth Stealing

My heart leapt. Between Moby Dick and To the Lighthouse was Debby, a beautiful novel by Max Steele, published in 1950. Max, a distant cousin, taught creative writing at UNC and wrote exquisite stories for the New Yorker and Harpers. I grew up hearing about him from my mother, since he grew up in Greenville and attended Furman. As editor of the Furman Magazine, my mother recruited him to write occasional pieces, but I didn’t meet him for decades. Just knowing about him, gave me permission to dream. As an undergraduate I so loved Debby I snuck it out of the Furman library and returned it years later, through the book deposit slot, at night. Now finding Debby in my neighborhood Little Library fifty years later, felt like an affirmation.