TSM22-37. Natalie Zett Flower in the River

Their Story Matters with Sara Troy and her guest Natalie Zett, on air from September 6th

Natalie Zett wrote a book where the main character is not a person, but a tragedy that few have heard of: The Eastland Disaster of 1915.
But what happens when you’re innocently investigating your family’s history, and the supernatural intervenes? That happened without my seeking or wanting this, and I file that under the “unintended consequences” category. Some things I learned from my book writing adventures—when you awaken the dead, expect the unexpected.

A ship chartered for Western Electric’s yearly company picnic capsized in the Chicago River, killing 844. To this day, only a few have heard of The Eastland Disaster. I’d like to help change that with my book, Flower in the River .It is all about the tragedy of the Eastland Disaster of 1915 in downtown Chicago and the benefits of exploring family history. The unexpected consequences of writing about family history, and how to talk to the dead and to have them talk back.
How can your family history research can help the living. Exploring your own life through the lives of your ancestors Why do you say Supernatural occurrences are normal for genealogists
What’s (Working) Class Got to Do with it? Why are some tragedies, such as the Titanic, remembered and extolled, while others, such as the Eastland Disaster are forgotten? I have some theories.
Memento mori, that is, remember that you are a future dead person and consider what you want to leave behind for those who will want to know you 100 years (or longer) from now. Our genealogical identities are often more complex than we realize.

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Natalie Zett is a writer, actor, photographer, and musician and has worked as a freelance journalist for magazines and papers since her late teens. Her favorite writing job was working for an award-winning community newspaper in Saint Paul, “The Park Bugle”.  Natalie also taught others how to write for community newspapers at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN. And, during the last few years, she became a family historian. Natalie is a proud graduate of Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, OH where she majored in business administration. She also graduated from Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN, where she received an M.A. in Systematic Theology.

Natalie is drawn to misplaced and forgotten stories because they’re more compelling than the world would let us believe.






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