Janice Daugharty (b. 1944)
Since 1994 Janice Staten Daugharty has published a volume of short fiction, six novels, and numerous short stories and essays. She has built a national reputation as a chronicler of life and people in south Georgia and is one of the state's most popular and prolific contemporary authors.
Daugharty published her first historical fiction in 2004. That novel, Just Doll, is a romance set on a plantation in the wiregrass region of southeast Georgia in the 1880s. It is the first of what Daugharty plans as "the Stanton Bay trilogy."
Though Daugharty writes primarily to entertain, she often deals with such social issues as religious hypocrisy, rigid class structure, and racial prejudice. She explains, "I look around me at all the evil and ignorance and feel that niggling to preach again, to try to make us all look inside at who we are and what we are in danger of becoming."
The theme of art and its redemptive power underlies much of Daugharty's writing. Her fictional artists include musicians (Merdie in Dark of the Moon) and visual artists (Alamand in Earl in the Yellow Shirt). Other characters are lovers of the written word—for example, Archie Wall, the small-town attorney who appears in several works, and Loujean in Earl in the Yellow Shirt. Often misunderstood and isolated, these characters find happiness in art and come to terms with reality through the creative process.
Janice Daugharty claims that she "can't quit writing." She is currently writer-in-residence at Valdosta State University.
Lisa Alther, "If the Shoe Fits . . . ," Washington Post Book World, March 22, 1998.
Greg Johnson, "'Sister' of the South: Daugharty Tells a Hardscrabble Tale," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 2, 2000.
Bret Lott, "The Literature of Blame: Four Recent Novels," Southern Review 31 (autumn 1995): 974.
Chris Solomon, "Pass the Collards," New York Times Book Review, December 19, 1999.
Charlotte Pfeiffer, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
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