Tuskegee resident details journey from India to Alabama in new book

June Samuel knows struggle.

Her parents moved to Alabama when she was 8 years old, leaving her in India to be raised by her grandfather. They kept up a relationship across seas but traveling or communicating back and forth wasn’t easy in the 60s.

By the time Samuel worked her way through medical school and got married, she had gathered up enough resources to follow her parents, who lived and worked in Tuskegee at the time. There, she dealt with the culture shock and fear that comes with being the only Indian family in a small, rural town.

She became a mother herself as she was getting to know her own, but several years later, her parents decided to retire back to India.

“It’s a torn life,” Samuel said.

Now a retired physician, Samuel still lives in Tuskegee with her husband. They’re also still the only Indian family in town.

Through each of these chapters of her life, though, she says she’s learned one lesson: how to keep going.

June Samuel autographs a copy of her book “The Audacity to Carry On” at her home in Tuskegee, Ala., on Friday, June 17, 2022.

With that in mind, she decided to write a collection of short stories about her life in India, her relationships with those who raised her, the faith that pushed her forward and her found love for rural Alabama. Covenant Books published Samuel’s book, “The Audacity to Carry On,” earlier this year, and it’s now available for sale on Amazon and other online bookstores.