Elisa Sinnett is an immigrant to the middle class and was dismayed to discover shortly after her arrival that it was being dismantled. She enjoys life on her severely curtailed teacher’s salary, and is a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting. She lives in Windsor, Ontario with her family across the river from her original hometown of Detroit, MI. She admires writers, peacemakers, Dreamers, activists and fellow teachers who are hanging in there for public education.
Lisa Anne Sinnett
Detroit Fairy Tales is a work of autobiographical fiction—or “speculative memoir”—that explores the lives of one struggling family with deep roots in their one-of-a-kind city. In the spirit of Bastard out of Carolina and The Glass Castle, Detroit Fairy Tales is part a coming of age story and part an exploration of how trauma can reverberate through four generations. Hopeful, yet raw and unflinching, thirty-six vignettes tie together like a work of jazz to create a single, one of a kind work. Along the way, Detroit Fairy Tales challenges assumptions while it peals back the layers of love, trauma, hope, and resignation that is at the root of this not unusual American family. Elisa and her five sisters are born and raised in the wealthy University District of Detroit where she longs to not stick out as a poor white kid. She is born with a “hole in her chest,” a rare medical condition. That is but the first of a lifetime of struggles, as Elisa and her sisters must navigate a family clouded by life-defining tragedies that echo though the generations. The six girls make their own ways through a labyrinth of race, class, gender, mental illness, and sexual and domestic violence, each finding their escape, some with more success than others. Like everyone, Elisa does what she can, making the best choices she knows how to. And in the end, she must find her own peace and end the cycle of family secrets. A portion of the proceeds from Detroit Fairy Tales go to the American Friends Service Committee, an organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world.
Find additional pictures of their work in the gallery below or at: