Marilyn June Coffey, a Nebraska native, lived for 30 years in New York City. While there, her controversial novel Marcella broke a world record for frankness and her wry poem “Pricksong” won a national prize.
Now an internationally published author, Coffey lives in Omaha with a feisty orange cat and an undisciplined garden. She writes history books. Atlantic featured her Great Plains Patchwork on its cover and again on-line. Amazon and Kindle named Coffey’s Mail-Order Kid best sellers. Amazon called her Thieves, Rascals & Sore Losers a best history book. Coffey’s latest—That Punk Jimmy Hoffa!—details her trucker father’s clash with the Teamsters.
An Orphan Train
Out of the Foundling,
into the fire
The massive orphan train exodus whisked three-year-old Teresa from the safety of her New York orphanage, where the worst thing the Foundling nuns did was wash her curly black hair, to a desolate house and cold-hearted "parents" in Kansas. There she entered a small and strange Volga German world whose inhabitants spoke a language she had never heard. In this odd world, she encountered whippings and sexual abuse.
Perhaps half a million children, like Teresa, were plucked from orphanages and shipped by rail (or "relocated") to nearly every state in the Union from 1854 to 1929.
Mail-Order Kid looks at the orphan train movement through the eyes of one small child who yearns to know her "real" mother, survives a tortured childhood, and ultimately, as an adult, comes to terms with her past, her faith, and herself.
Winner of the
national orphan train complex
special president's award
"Everyone who met her loved her. Marilyn Coffey has caught the real Jessie Teresa on the pages of this book."
Mary Ellen Johnson
Founder and Executive Director
Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc.
"Quite fascinating, a new and unusual look at the Orphan Train experience."
Performer, "The Orphan Train"
One's Company Productions
"An excellent job of bringing to life a little-known part of our country's history."
Journalist and novelist
Publisher: "out West" Press
Publication Date: May 6, 2010
Paperback: 300 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-09626317-2-6
Kindle ASIN: B0049U47KG
Narrator: Marie Hoffman
Length: 9 hours, 15 minutes