Buy Sandspit

With an MA in history from UCLA, by 1964 Francesca Fryer moved to inland Redding. With the Northern California Indian-White Encounter as her subject, on a family fishing trip she discovered her theme and symbol: the everchanging finger of sand at the mouth of the Klamath River, reaching out first from one side, then the other - an intersection of two races, two cultures - striving to cross barriers, and never quite succeeding.

By 1974, after a divorce, a move to four rural acres, and a diagnosis of Freidrich's Ataxia, a slowly disabling neuro-muscular disease, her Sandspit trilogy began to take shape. A multi-layered non-fiction novel, its order not temporal, but a gradually widening view; its purpose to honor original voices and myths. At no point does the author fictionalize. She is the outside researcher taking the reader on an important voyage of discovery and in the process discovering herself.

Photo by Molly Martin, 1993
Author, Francesca Fryer
Author's Side-Bar
In 1967, when anthropologist Arnold Pilling told her, "Harry Roberts and his mother were adopted into the Spott family,." and Florence Shaughnessy said that, "Robert (Spott) trained Harry. Everyone knew of the friendship of Alice and Ruth, but hardly anyone knows of this teaching of Harry. What Harry knows is our most prized knowledge," they put their finger on Sandspit's narrative core.
Copyright Francesca Fryer Estate