At 4:33 P.M. on March 3, 1966, the skies above Jackson, Mississippi, turned an ominous yellow before going suddenly and violently black. A tornado of the F-5 category -- the most lethal -- struck without warning. It tore roofs off buildings, twisted metal, blew out windows, threw cars into the air, and killed fourteen people -- thirteen of them in a newly built shopping mall, the Candlestick Shopping Center. The fury and destruction ended in seconds, but in those moments the tornado had ripped through the heart of a community, changing lives forever. In A World Turned Over, Lorian Hemingway returns to the Jackson she knew as a child and tells the story of the Candlestick Tornado, as it came to be known. Vividly re-creating the terrifying day of the tornado, she recounts the miracles and tragedies that also happened that day -- including the story of Donna Durr, who with her baby was lifted in her car seventy-five feet up into the vortex, and of eighteen-year-old Ronny Hannis, who survived to help rescue others, oblivious to the danger to his own life. Decades later, the devastation of that single day continues to reverberate and affect those left behind.
Lyrical and haunting, A World Turned Over is an unforgettable story of awesome destruction -- and a powerful testament to the extraordinary resilience, faith, and heroism of ordinary people visited by fate.
Lorian Hemingway is the author of Walking into the River, a novel, and Walk on Water, a memoir. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Chicago Tribune. A granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, she lives in Seattle.