The Textile Trilogy


The Textile Trilogy tells the story of the rise and fall of women in the thread and textile industries in North America from the 1830s to the late twentieth century. Until the mid-twentieth century, the 'women of the silk' seemed poised to seize control of their own destinies. The arcane knowledge and rites of breeding and harvesting the silkworm had been handed down through generations of Huguenot women. Though they found themselves in a society that favored the work of their pioneering husbands, the women successfully established a silk magnanerie: as much a matriarchal subculture as it was a unit of production. The women succeeded in forging a strong community, winning the love and support of their men, and learning to understand and embrace their Native American neighbors. Nevertheless, their brave experiment was ultimately destroyed by industrialization and capitalism, and by the extractive technologies that raped the land itself. These stories, based on that of Kinal's own family line, examine how these events came to pass, and also represent a search for 'at-one-ment:' the understanding and healing that is the hope of many, if not most, writers of historical fiction. Though they serve this broader purpose, each installment in this series is engaging and instructive in its own right.


But perhaps we had to be brought to this point in order that we might listen to the whispers of our hearts. What compromises can we live with? What must we do so our species doesn’t have to die, taking this beautiful, diverse world with us? I believe this: What we have imagined can still occur.
***

After completing Burning Silk, Destiny Kinal speaks about how she conceived The Textile Trilogy. Watch video.