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A Woman Named Defiance

Published Book | Now Adapting Screenplay

It’s not just any story, and she was not just any woman–and yes, her middle name was Defiance. Floyd, a twice-married woman, was writing in Milledgeville, GA and Knoxville, TN—using her maiden name—about equal pay for women in 1873, and about child abuse in 1885. 

Her daughter, Laura McAdoo Gagey became a noted Parisian solonierre who helped Anatole France write The Gods Will Have Blood, while her son, William Gibbs McAdoo, Jr. became U.S. Treasury Secretary and ran for president in 1920 and 1924. Her husband, William Gibbs McAdoo, was a professor at the University of Tennessee.

Storyhaus Media’s Douglas McDaniel searched for Floyd’s lost novel for 14 years before finding it on microfilm at the University of Georgia Library in Athens in January, 2019. It was last published as a serial in the Savannah Morning News in 1883. 

A Woman Named Defiance is an anthology of some of Mary Faith Floyd’s poetry, essays, short stories, and her second book, Eagle Bend, a fiction novel that celebrates the raw nobility of 19th century life in southern Appalachia, the culture and norms of Savannah society, and the hopes and aspirations of Floyd’s protagonist, Minona Dearing, a young woman seeking to become a published author in Savannah, 

New York, and Boston just after the Reconstruction period. 

 “Nearly 150 years ago, a woman named Mary Faith Floyd wrote a story that spans Savannah, GA, New York, Blount County, TN—and the area of town in Clinton, TN, known as Eagle Bend. It was published in serial form in a newspaper, and then …

Lost. Until now. 

Mary Faith Floyd’s writing style is lavish “but very readable.” The writing brings to mind novels by Anthony Trollope and even Thomas Hardy in its description of the natural world and human interactions.” 

– Crystal Huskey, the Clinton Courier-News, May, 2019

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