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Arts & Culture

‘The Stolen Marriage’ Reimagines The 1944 Polio Outbreak in Hickory

Diane Chamerlain, cover of 'Stolen Marriage'
Images courtesy of Diane Chamberlain.
Diane Chamberlain's latest novel recalls the polio outbreak in Hickory, NC, in 1944.

In 1944 a polio outbreak swept across the Hickory and Charlotte area of North Carolina. Facilities in Charlotte quickly filled up with patients, leaving many in Hickory without proper treatment. In dire need of a medical facility, residents in Hickory banded together and built, outfitted and staffed an emergency hospital within 54 hours. The event came to be known as “The Miracle of Hickory.”

In her new novel “The Stolen Marriage” (St. Martin’s Press/2017) Diane Chamberlain tells the story of the town in 1944 and profiles one woman’s work as a nurse at the hospital after the epidemic strikes. Host Frank Stasio talks with Chamberlain about her new novel and the legacy of “The Miracle of Hickory.” Chamberlain reads across North Carolina in the coming weeks.

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