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Oxford's King Sisters Release Third Book in "Our Josephine"

Our Josephine_King Twins
From left, Kat and Margaret King sign copies of their new book, “Our Josephine” at their July Off Square Books signing. Photo by Sarah Sapp.

Kat and Margaret King recently released their third and arguably best installment of childhood adventures as identical twins in 1950s Mississippi with “Our Josephine.”
While this book exceeds readers’ expectations for the Kings’ hilarious mischief and sibling rivalry, it also offers a glimpse at segregation in the Deep South through the innocent eyes of everyone’s favorite dynamic duo.
Kat, a mathematics instructor at Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Oxford campus, and her identical twin, Margaret, quickly became critical darlings among modern day Mississippi writers with the 2012 release of “Y’all Twins?” and the 2013 release of “Which is Which?” Reliably serving up the pair’s comedy of adolescent errors, the Kings’ heartwarming family tales of the duo’s playful exploits tickle readers time and time again.
“Our Josephine” is no exception to the rule. As soon as the twins arrive for their weeklong stay at their grandmother’s house, the girls find trouble around every corner. Late night battles with kitchen bugs, hiding uneaten piles of turnip greens and cabbage from their hostess and sneaking bowlfuls of their great grandmother’s ice cream she refuses to eat are just the start of their summer shenanigans.
The cast of southern Gothic characters keep the twins busy during their short stint away from home. From fetching Miz Neal’s brazziere she is convinced is her cat out of a tree to dodging hellfire and damnation from the overzealous preacher at their grandmother’s church, the girls are never short of an eccentric local. Pawning off the scary or cat-hair laced culinary attempts from crazy Miz Sadie and the resident cat lady, Miz Avery, to unsuspecting friends and family becomes a fun pastime for the twins.
The girls quickly become friends with Josephine, Mother Kirk’s young, African American caretaker. At just 16 years old, Josephine cooks, cleans and cares for the girls’ ailing great grandmother. She teaches the girls to not fear Mother Kirk, but to talk to her and sing to her instead. Josephine tells the girls fantastic stories and teaches them lifelong values of kindness, generosity and thrift echoed by their loving and penurious grandmother. Josephine tries to delicately explain why she must walk behind them on the way to the market and ride on the back of the bus while they ride up front, but the girls refuse to accept that their new companion and her brother, the helpful handyman, Clyde, are not treated equally.
K.M. Deal, author of “The Messenger,” captures the essence of the book best. “In ‘Our Josephine,’ the King Twins have brought their unique perspective to the issues of race relations in Mississippi during the ‘50s. Told with the usual humor and candor, the book breathes life into their friend Josephine who is a woman of courage, kindness and integrity. The innocence of a child’s perspective is a breath of fresh air,” said Deal.
“Our Josephine” is available for purchase from the twins’ website, www.yalltwins.com. It is also sold through Deeds Publishing, Amazon.com and Square Books.
Courtesy Sarah Sapp.

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