V.L. (Ginny) Purvis-Smith grew up on a Colorado farm replete with coal stove, outhouse, milk cows, and aunts who cautioned that, because women were likely to be widows at a young age with children to support, education and a profession might guarantee survival. Ginny earned a Ph.D. in English and Education from the University of Michigan and a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. In her dissertation, she explored the experiences of women preachers entering the profession in the 1980s when the pulpit was an overwhelmingly male-defined rhetorical space. She completed her undergraduate studies in history at Boston University.
Ginny served churches in the Midwest and on the East Coast, worked as a hospital and university chaplain, directed an English language program in Sénégal, West Africa, and taught English composition in Michigan and The Bahamas. Prior to her graduate education, she was a special education teacher and administered employee insurance programs.
Upon her return to Colorado in 2009, she started research for her historical novel, Greenwood Riven. It depicts the racial hostility, political incivility, and economic inequality that defined relationships between indigenous, Mexican, Anglo, and Japanese communities on Colorado’s High Plains at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Ginny lives with her husband near Denver, and they spend as much time with their daughter’s and son’s families as everyone’s patience allows.
"I have enjoyed Ginny's historical novel twice! I finished the last page and immediately turned to page one and read it again."