Marguerite Prager-Thompson, author of Marguerite de Bourgogne, visited Scuppernong Books in Greensboro last Wednesday. Marguerite de Bourgogne is a memoir about Marguerite’s life as a Jew living with her parents in France during World War II and her childhood in America.
At the reading, Marguerite was accompanied by her husband, Tim, as well as artistic director, Brenda, who assisted throughout the night. Due to her physical limitations, Maguy has been putting together her memoir for the last 13 years with the help of Bernadette Davis.
Maguy was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis at age 14. When she was diagnosed, there was no medication available to aid with her pain. She would take 12 aspirin a day just to deal with her condition.
Maguy has had multiple surgeries over the years including on her fingers, wrists, knees and spine. Although she has recently been confined to a wheelchair and has trouble speaking at a loud volume because of the overall damage the arthritis has caused, her husband pointed out that her mind works “just fine.”
Tim introduced his wife to the audience. He stated, “Maguy [Marguerite] was born in France during World War II. Her father, Eric, was an Austrian Jew and had to hide from the Nazis in France as well as the French government. Her mother, Charline, stayed in a small village in France where Maguy was born, while her father hid in the mountains until the war ended.”
After the war, Maguy and her family immigrated to the United States in 1952. Maguy spent her childhood in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with a teaching degree in Spanish. She met Tim in 1977 and followed him to Germany where they lived for many years. They traveled from Germany to Louisiana to Massachusetts, and finally to Greensboro.
Throughout the memoir, she shares her life through small stories and experiences she has accumulated throughout her lifetime. The book carries through how her parents met, life through the war, immigrating to the U.S., her school years and her early adult years.
As her husband explained, “There’s some funny parts in this book, a lot of funny parts. But there are parts that are very touching. So I think that makes for a variety of subject matter for the reader.”
This memoir is full of raw truth along with comical short stories. It is a perfect read for any history buff, biography lover, or any reader interested in reading a true story.