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Sprouted from life's calling
Times photo: Anthony Wahl Local author Esther Henry holds out her recently published book Nali while at her home in Monroe Tuesday morning. There will be a book signing for Henrys book Thursday, Dec. 15 at Chocolate Temptation in downtown Monroe from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m.
MONROE - The seed for Esther Henry's latest book, the novel "Nali," can be traced to when she was an 8-year-old growing up in Iowa.She attended the only elementary school in the county that served deaf children, so she started learning American Sign Language to communicate with her deaf classmates, and the friendships she made with them continued through high school.Fast forward to the 1990s, when Henry and her husband, Brian, were sent as Pentecostal missionaries to New Guinea. "Living overseas really opened my eyes to the plight of the deaf in developing countries," said Henry, who speaks three languages and writes in her author's bio that she has made it her life's goal to help people understand one another.Last year, having already published the memoir "Adventures in Paradise" about her decade on the South Pacific island, Henry decided her next project would be a work of fiction about a deaf New Guinean.Twenty-five-thousand words later, as Henry wrote background plot for characters, she realized she had a series on her hands. The title character of "Nali" is not deaf, but deafness plays into the next anticipated book in the series, "Samina.