John Ashworth

Selected Works

Fiction
Historical novel set in 1890s Florida, when Northern big business collides with old plantations. FL Historical Society Press, Chapin House Books, 2008
Young adult science fiction novel about social and political uses of science
Short Stories
A youth's dangerous effort to escape a banal working class life - O. Henry Prize Stories of 1949; Film by Universal Studios
Expatriate childless couple celebrating personal rebirth in Florence - Raritan, Fall 1995
An immigrant mother's efforts to help her daughter escape an abusive relationship
The shy love between a father and daughter
Plays
A journey with characters from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Contains opportunities for music and dance.
The visions and imagination of the English poet, William Blake, as he struggles against inhumanity, war, and is tried for sedition.
Magazine Article
The Atlantic, May 1949. Much anthologized including: Literature, Reading Fiction, Poetry and Drama, by R. DiYanni, pub. McGraw-Hill, 2000, 2004

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Works

Overhead The Sun
A gripping historical novel set in Florida in the 1890s, when Northern big business collided with old plantations, the frontier, and a legacy of racial antagonisms.

Interwoven in the turbulent events is the story's central character, Julia Clayton, a young woman struggling to achieve emotional and intellectual independence as the wife of Tom Clayton, the ambitious protege of Yankee hotel magnate and railroad developer, Arthur Wilkins. Turned off by their machinations, Julia is drawn to a dissident Northerner. Together with memorable characters from both the white and African American communities, they are swept into the battle for control of the land and its development in an era that changed Florida forever. The book is both a love story and a historically-accurate depiction of that action-filled period.

The novel grew out of interviews conducted by Ashworth in the 1950s of survivors of the infamous 1923 race riot and massacre at Rosewood, in which the African American town was wiped out. The incident is an integral part of the novel.

Published by Chapin House Books,
Florida Historical Society Press
Cocoa, FL, 2008

The Time Twin
A young man's experiences with two scientists in a secret lab, researching the impact of different social and political experiences on cloned individuals. But for what ends? Deceit or knowledge, repression or liberation? See contact for more information.

High Diver
A youth's dangerous effort to escape a banal working class life - Harpers, May 1948; O. Henry Prize Stories of 1949; Film by Universal Studios.

Via Verrocchio 30
Expatriate childless couple celebrating personal rebirth in Florence - Published in Raritan, Fall 1995

Leaves In A Silver Basket
An immigrant mother's efforts to help her daughter escape an abusive relationship. See contact for more information.

Reticent Love
The shy love between a father and daughter. See contact for more information.

Canterbury
A journey with characters from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Contains opportunities for music and dance. See contact for more information.

Burning Bright (click to see rehearsed reading)
This is a historically-based play, about a poet's imagination versus stultifying forces in both society and people's psyches. The conflict with society is framed by Blake's sedition trial, where the stakes are life or death. The conflict with people's psyches centers on Blake's relationship with a wealthy patron who is also a literary man, William Hayley. With wife Catherine, Blake struggles to create new human relations - a new Jerusalem. See contact for more information.

Olivier, Freud and Hamlet
The Atlantic, May 1949. Much anthologized including: Literature, Reading Fiction, Poetry and Drama, by R. DiYanni, pub. McGraw-Hill, 2000, 2004