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Explore Georgia’s rich music history

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Black and white photo of Shay Youngblood at typewriter

Shay Youngblood

Shay Younblood is pictured at a Yaddo artist residency in Saratoga Springs, New York. A graduate of Clark College (later Clark Atlanta University), Youngblood has received numerous honors, including a Pushcart Prize, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and several NAACP Theater Awards.

Courtesy of Shay Youngblood, Photograph by Carol Bullard.

Color portrait of Shay Youngblood

Shay Youngblood

Shay Youngblood, from Columbus, writes novels, plays, and shorts stories that center on the lives of Black women. Her plays have been staged in theaters across the country, including numerous productions in Atlanta.

Courtesy of Shay Youngblood, Photograph by Miriam Phields.

Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop was named to the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2018. 

The Secret Ascension

The Secret Ascension

The Secret Ascension: Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas (1987) imagines a parallel universe in which President Richard Nixon, serving his fourth term, has turned the country into a totalitarian police state.

Ancient of Days

Ancient of Days

Like many of Bishop's works, the 1985 novel Ancient of Days is set in Georgia. 

Frank Yerby

Frank Yerby

Augusta native Frank Yerby came to be known as "king of the costume novel" for his successful works of historical fiction. 

Courtesy of Digital Library of Georgia, Georgia Historic Newspapers.

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Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of multiple novels, including The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings.

Marian McCamy Sims

Marian McCamy Sims

Marian McCamy Sims, a fiction writer, was a native of Dalton and an alumnae of Agnes Scott College in Decatur. Her novels and short stories, written in North Carolina during the 1930s and 1940s, focus primarily on the lives of white, middle-class southerners.

Reprinted by permission of University of North Carolina at Charlotte Library, Marian McCamy Sims Papers.

McCamy Home

McCamy Home

The family home of writer Marian McCamy Sims, pictured circa 1921, was built in Dalton around 1918. Originally located on South Thornton Avenue, the house was later moved to another site.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
wtf096.

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Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones, an Atlanta native, writes short stories, articles, and novels, many of which focus on African American life in her hometown after the civil rights movement. A graduate of Spelman College, Jones has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Corporation of Yaddo, among others.

Photograph by Richard Powers

Leaving Atlanta

Leaving Atlanta

Leaving Atlanta, the debut novel of Atlanta native Tayari Jones, chronicles the child murders of 1979-81 in Atlanta's Black community. Told from the perspective of three elementary school children, the novel received several awards and honors, including the Lillian Smith Book Award in 2005.

The Untelling

The Untelling

The Untelling, published in 2005, is the second novel by Atlanta native Tayari Jones. Through a narrative focusing on a young African American woman's work among the poor in Atlanta, Jones explores the changing dynamics of race, class, and gender in the urban South.

Cold Sassy Tree

Cold Sassy Tree

After a career in journalism, Olive Ann Burns was inspired to write her first novel, Cold Sassy Tree, after being diagnosed with cancer in 1975. The book was published in 1984 by Ticknor and Fields; the cover of the 1986 paperback reprint by Dell is pictured.

Olive Ann Burns

Olive Ann Burns

Olive Ann Burns, a native of Banks County, began her writing career as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution Magazine in 1946. She is best known for her novel Cold Sassy Tree (1984), which is set in the fictional town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, and draws upon Burns's family history.

Calder Willingham

Calder Willingham

Georgia native Calder Willingham, shown circa 1970, wrote novels, plays, and screenplays. His screenplay for The Graduate (1967), cowritten with Buck Henry, was nominated for an Academy Award. Willingham also wrote many other scripts, including The Strange One (1957), which was an adapation of his first novel, End as a Man (1947).

Photograph from Corbis

Ha Jin

Ha Jin

Ha Jin, a native of China's Liaoning Province, traveled to the United States in 1985 to pursue a doctorate in English. His first collection of poetry in English appeared in 1990, and since that time he has published additional collections of poems and short stories, as well as several novels. In 1993 Jin joined the creative writing faculty at Emory University, where he taught for ten years.

Photograph by Michael Romanos

Under the Red Flag

Under the Red Flag

Ha Jin's collection of short stories Under the Red Flag won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by the University of Georgia Press in 1997.

Ha Jin

Ha Jin

After teaching creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta for ten years, Ha Jin became a full professor in the creative writing program at Boston University in 2003. Jin has garnered numerous awards for his writing, including the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction in 1997 and the National Book Award in 1999.

Courtesy of Powells.com

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting, written by former Emory professor Ha Jin and published by Random House, won the National Book Award for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. The novel chronicles nearly two decades in the life of a Chinese doctor torn between his wife, whom he is unable to divorce under Chinese law, and his girlfriend.

Will and Elizabeth Harben

Will and Elizabeth Harben

The novelist Will Harben poses with Elizabeth, one of his three children, in 1915.

Courtesy of James Murphy

Will Harben

Will Harben

Will Harben, a Dalton native, achieved literary success by creating colorful characters based on the mountaineers of north Georgia.

Courtesy of James Murphy

Maybelle Harben

Maybelle Harben

Maybelle Chandler Harben, a socialite from South Carolina, married the Georgia novelist Will Harben in 1896.

Courtesy of James Murphy

Home of Will Harben

Home of Will Harben

The ancestral home of the Georgia novelist Will Harben is located at 306 Selvidge Street in Dalton.

Courtesy of James Murphy

Will Harben

Will Harben

Although novelist Will Harben spent most of his adult life in New York City, he always returned for a visit each summer to his native Dalton. Harben is quoted as saying, "I may live in the North, but my heart is in Dixie."

Courtesy of James Murphy

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet was the dean of the Georgia humorists. His book of humorous sketches, Georgia Scenes (1835), paved the way for other satirists, collectively known as the Georgia humorists.

Ruffian from Georgia Scenes

Ruffian from Georgia Scenes

This illustration from the 1840 edition of Augustus Baldwin Longstreet's Georgia Scenes depicts a young man practicing his technique for eye-gouging.

From Georgia Scenes, by Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

Evelina from Georgia Scenes

Evelina from Georgia Scenes

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet's vain and selfish character Evelina, illustrated here in the 1840 edition of Georgia Scenes, drives her husband to drink and dishonor in the literary sketch "The Charming Creature."

From Georgia Scenes, by Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

A Childhood: The Biography of a Place

A Childhood: The Biography of a Place

Harry Crews's memoir of his childhood in rural Georgia, published in 1978, was lauded by critics as an honest depiction of the violence, desperation, and courage evoked by situtations of extreme poverty.

Harry Crews

Harry Crews

Writers Harry Crews and Paul Hemphill at Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta, 1979. Crews, author of the acclaimed memoir A Childhood: The Biography of a Place and numerous novels, wrote primarily about the poor white South. Often compared to such noted Georgia writers as Flannery O'Connor and James Dickey, Crews himself has been an important influence on many younger southern writers.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

James Alan McPherson

James Alan McPherson

James Alan McPherson attends a University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop class in 2005. McPherson, a Savannah native, was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize, awarded for his short story collection Elbow Room.

Photograph by Kirk Murray

Elbow Room

Elbow Room

In 1978 Savannah-born writer James Alan McPherson became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. He was awarded the prize for Elbow Room, a collection of short stories published in 1977 by Little, Brown.

John Oliver Killens

John Oliver Killens

This portrait of John Oliver Killens, writer and founder of the Harlem Writers Guild, was photographed by Carl Van Vechten on June 8, 1954.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Photograph Collection.

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church, on St. Simons Island, was rebuilt in 1884 by a young minister, Anson Dodge, in memory of his deceased wife.

Image from septicbreath

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Eugenia Price

Eugenia Price

The fiction writer Eugenia Price is pictured with James Gould III outside St. Simons Lighthouse.

Stained Glass, Christ Church

Stained Glass, Christ Church

A stained-glass window in Christ Church, dedicated to Anson Dodge, the minister who rebuilt the church in the 1880s.

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

In preparing to write her best-selling novel, Gone With the Wind, Atlanta native Margaret Mitchell did extensive research on Georgia during the Civil War. She was influenced by Confederate veterans and others whose vivid memories of the period helped shape her narrative.

Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind

The first edition of Gone With the Wind was published by the Macmillan Company in 1936. Both the book and the film adaptation have become cultural icons representing the myth of the noble antebellum South.

Mitchell with Cat

Mitchell with Cat

Margaret Mitchell poses with a cat in this undated photograph. Mitchell became a celebrity with the publication of her only novel, Gone With the Wind, in 1936 and the subsequent film adaptation in 1939.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell, the author of the best-selling novel Gone With the Wind (1936), began writing stories and plays early in her life. As a teenager, she was a founding member and officer of her high school's drama club as well as the literary editor of the yearbook.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Mitchell Interviews Students

Mitchell Interviews Students

Margaret Mitchell interviews students at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta. Mitchell worked as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine from 1922 until 1926.

Courtesy of Margaret Mitchell House and Museum

Mitchell and Upshaw’s Wedding

Mitchell and Upshaw’s Wedding

In 1922 Margaret Mitchell (sixth from left) married Berrien Kinnard Upshaw (center). Upshaw left after four months, and the couple's marriage was annulled two years later. John Marsh (second from left), whom Mitchell married in 1925, was Upshaw's best man.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Mitchell on Camping Trip

Mitchell on Camping Trip

Undated photograph of Margaret Mitchell, the author of the best-selling novel Gone With the Wind (1936), camping at Lake Burton in Rabun County.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

During World War II (1941-45) Margaret Mitchell, the best-selling author of Gone With the Wind (1936), worked for the American Red Cross.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center, Kenneth G. Rogerts Collection.

Margaret Mitchell Stamp

Margaret Mitchell Stamp

Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell, recognized on this 1986 Great Americans Series stamp, sold over 30 million copies of her novel, Gone With the Wind.

Courtesy of Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

In 1922 Margaret Mitchell took a job, at a salary of $25 per week, as a writer for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. Mitchell left the paper in 1926 and began writing Gone With the Wind, which was published in 1936.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Jean Toomer

Jean Toomer

Jean Toomer is best known as the author of the 1923 novel Cane, set in small-town Georgia.

Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Libraries, Yale Collection of American Literature.

Jean Toomer

Jean Toomer

A young Jean Toomer, pictured around the turn of the twentieth century. Toomer was born in 1894 in Washington, D.C., and grew up there. His father was a Georgian and the widower of a wealthy Georgia landowner, Amanda America Dickson.

Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Libraries, Yale Collection of American Literature.

Cane

Cane

Jean Toomer's novel Cane was published in 1923. This masterpiece of the Modernist style was inspired by Toomer's visit to Georgia.

Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Libraries, Yale Collection of American Literature.

Pearl Cleage

Pearl Cleage

An award-winning writer, Pearl Cleage is known for exploring difficult or controversial subjects in her fiction and nonfiction works, including Deals with the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot (1993) and What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (1997).

I Wish I Had a Red Dress

I Wish I Had a Red Dress

In her novel I Wish I Had a Red Dress (2001), Pearl Cleage addresses the challenges modern-day Black women face.

Rashad and Young

Rashad and Young

Actors Phylicia Rashad and Mark Young portray the characters Angel and Guy in the Alliance Theatre's 1995 production of Blues for an Alabama Sky, written by Georgia playwright Pearl Cleage.

Photograph by Jennifer Lester

Pearl Cleage: New South

The writer Pearl Cleage describes how she's a "product of the New South."

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Pearl Cleage: Activist Artist

The writer Pearl Cleage explains the idea of making "revolution irresistible."

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Pearl Cleage: The Urgency of Art

The writer Pearl Cleage explains why she feels the need to "write fast": artists who can envision a better world have a responsibility to convey their ideas for change.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Pearl Cleage: Discomfort with Art

The writer Pearl Cleage believes that we must not be afraid to let art make us uncomfortable sometimes, particularly when the artist is different from ourselves.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Pearl Cleage: Multiculturalism

The writer Pearl Cleage says that multiculturalism in the arts ultimately highlights our similarities, not our differences.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Pearl Cleage: Insecurity

The writer Pearl Cleage believes that a little bit of insecurity is valuable for an artist.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Pearl Cleage: Flyin’ West

The writer Pearl Cleage discusses one of the ideas behind her play (1992): that women have the right to protect themselves.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Ferrol Sams

Ferrol Sams

Ferrol Sams, a physician, was the author of seven books. His works are rooted in the oral traditions of southern humor and folklore.

Photograph from Emory University

Grace Lumpkin

Grace Lumpkin

Grace Lumpkin published four novels in her lifetime. She is best known for her radical novels of the 1930s, To Make My Bread and A Sign for Cain, which address the economic and social turmoil of the Great Depression.

Courtesy of the University of South Carolina

To Make My Bread

To Make My Bread

A 1995 University of Illinois Press reprint of Grace Lumpkin's 1932 novel, To Make My Bread, features an introduction by Suzanne Sowinska that looks at Lumpkin's volatile career and this book's critical reception.

Byron Herbert Reece

Byron Herbert Reece

Renowned poet Byron Herbert Reece, a native of Dahlonega, attended Young Harris College, although he never completed a degree. Reece returned to the school as an instructor in the 1950s.

Byron Herbert Reece

Byron Herbert Reece

Byron Herbert Reece was the author of four books of poetry and two novels. When he wasn't busy writing or working on his family farm near Dahlonega, Reece served as writer-in-residence at the University of California at Los Angeles, Emory University, and Young Harris College.

Byron Herbert Reece

Byron Herbert Reece

Byron Herbert Reece, a poet from Union County, accepts an award from the Georgia Writers Association.

Juan Reece and Byron Herbert Reece

Juan Reece and Byron Herbert Reece

Byron Herbert Reece (right) is pictured with his father, Juan Reece (left), on the family farm near Blood Mountain above Dahlonega. Both Reece and his father contracted tuberculosis during their lives.

Blood Mountain

Blood Mountain

Blood Mountain, at 4,461 feet, is the highest peak along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and the sixth highest mountain in the state. The mountain is located near the line between Union and Lumpkin counties and may have been named for a battle between the Cherokees and the Creeks.

Photograph by Sammy Hancock

Mary Hood

Mary Hood

Mary Hood's three collections of short stories, How Far She Went (1984), And Venus Is Blue (1986), and A Clear View of the Southern Sky (2015), have won several fiction awards. Her stories have been reprinted in numerous anthologies and textbooks.

Photograph by Erin R. McLeod, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Mary Hood

Mary Hood

Mary Hood published her first novel, Familiar Heat, in 1995. She had previously published two collections of short stories.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Alice Walker is an African American novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, and activist. Her most famous novel, The Color Purple, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1983.

Revolutionary Petunias

Revolutionary Petunias

Alice Walker's second volume of poetry, Revolutionary Petunias (1973), won the Lillian Smith Book Award, given by the Southern Regional Council.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple (1982) was made into a major motion picture, directed by Steven Spielberg, in 1985.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Alice Walker has written from a number of perspectives, exploring the nature of life for Black Americans in the modern world and examining the plight of women (especially women of color) in a male-dominated society.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Eatonton native Alice Walker's award-winning novel The Color Purple (1982) chronicles the self-empowerment and growth of the character Celie, a poor Black woman living in rural Georgia.

Raymond Andrews

Raymond Andrews

Raymond Andrews, pictured in 1991, was a widely acclaimed novelist and chronicler of the African American experience in north central Georgia. His first novel, Appalachee Red, won the James Baldwin Prize for fiction in 1979.

Photograph by Alexa Kozak

Raymond Andrews

Raymond Andrews

An expansive, engaging man who made friends effortlessly, the writer Raymond Andrews was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of old movies and sports, especially football and baseball.

Courtesy of Emory University

Appalachee Red

Appalachee Red

Appalachee Red (1978), the first novel in the Muskhogean trilogy by Raymond Andrews, tells the story of a large, red-skinned Black man who changes everything for African Americans in the small town of Appalachee, which is based on the town of Madison.

From Appalachee Red, by R. Andrews

No Time for Sergeants

No Time for Sergeants

Cordele native Mac Hyman's internationally acclaimed comic novel, No Time for Sergeants, was published by Random House in 1953. The book's popularity inspired television, Broadway, and film adaptations.

Brainard Cheney

Brainard Cheney

Brainard Cheney was a twentieth-century novelist, political speechwriter, and essayist from the wiregrass region of south Georgia. During a writing career that spanned four decades (1939-69), Cheney published four novels that depict the social transformation of south Georgia between 1870 and 1960.

From River Rogue, by B. Cheney

Richard Malcolm Johnston

Richard Malcolm Johnston

The humorist Richard Malcolm Johnston wrote four novels and seven collections of stories, including his best-known work, Dukesborough Tales (1871).

The Exile

The Exile

Soldier, editor, and politician Francis Fontaine is best known for his literary works. His narrative poem The Exile: A Tale of St. Augustine was published in 1878.

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Johnson teaches creative writing at Kennesaw State University and lives in Atlanta's Virginia Highland area. Like the main character in his 2001 novel, Sticky Kisses, Johnson owns two dachshunds.

Tina McElroy Ansa

Tina McElroy Ansa

Novelist, journalist, essayist, and short story writer Tina McElroy Ansa uses her native Macon and its historic African American Pleasant Hill district as a model for the fictional town of Mulberry, the setting of her first four novels.

Photograph by Erin Randall McLeod, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Caroline Miller

Caroline Miller

Caroline Miller won the Pulitzer Prize and France's Prix Femina for her first novel, Lamb in His Bosom (1933).

Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers, considered one of the most significant American writers of the twentieth century, is best known for her novels The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and The Member of the Wedding.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Photograph by Carl Van Vechten.

Janice Daugharty

Janice Daugharty

With her short stories, novels, and essays, Janice Daugharty 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.

Photograph by Herb Pilcher

Janice Daugharty

Janice Daugharty

Novelist and short story writer Janice Daugharty lives and writes in Echols County, in south Georgia.

Anne Rivers Siddons

Anne Rivers Siddons

Anne Rivers Siddons was best known for books about Atlanta and its environs, including Peachtree Road (1989) and Nora, Nora (2000).

William Tappan Thompson

William Tappan Thompson

In 1850 William Tappan Thompson became the founding editor of the Savannah Daily Morning News. With the exception of a short period during the Civil War, he was the editor of the newspaper until his death.

William Tappan Thompson

William Tappan Thompson

William Tappan Thompson's best-known works, Major Jones's Courtship (1843) and Major Jones's Sketches of Travel (1848), feature the fictional character Major Joseph Jones, a down-to-earth Georgia planter who wrote dialect letters about his courtship, rural life, and travels.

Julien Green

Julien Green

Green's masterpiece is undoubtedly Moira (1950; published in English under the same title), an autobiographical novel set at the University of Virginia and dominated by the conflict between flesh and spirit, sin and grace.

Courtesy of The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University Archives, University of Virginia Library

Terry Kay

Terry Kay

Georgia native and award-winning writer Terry Kay was the author of numerous works of fiction, as well as two children's books and a collection of nonfiction prose. Kay's breakthrough novel, To Dance with the White Dog (1990), made him internationally famous.

Courtesy of Terry Kay

Terry Kay

Terry Kay

Terry Kay, a native of Hart County, began his writing career as a journalist, working for the Decatur-DeKalb News and the Atlanta Journal during the 1960s and early 1970s. He later worked in advertising and for the Oglethorpe Power Corporation before turning to full-time writing in 1989.

Courtesy of Terry Kay

To Dance with the White Dog

To Dance with the White Dog

Georgia writer Terry Kay's breakout novel, To Dance with the White Dog, was published in 1990 by Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta. The story is a fictionalized account of Kay's parents' relationship. The book was later adapted into a Hallmark Hall of Fame television production.

The Year the Lights Came On

The Year the Lights Came On

Terry Kay's first novel, The Year the Lights Came On (1976), began as a magazine piece that his friend Pat Conroy encouraged him to turn into a novel. The novel describes the effects of rural electrification on two rival gangs in the fictional Georgia county of Eden.

The Book of Marie

The Book of Marie

Terry Kay's tenth novel, The Book of Marie, was published in 2007 by Mercer University Press in Macon and recognized by the Georgia Writers Association as best fiction book of the year.

Terry Kay

Terry Kay

Terry Kay received many awards for his work, including the Georgia Author of the Year Award in 1981 for After Eli and the Southeastern Library Association Outstanding Author of the Year Award in 1991 for To Dance with the White Dog, which was twice nominated for the American Booksellers Association's Book of the Year.

Photograph by Erin Randall McLeod, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Terry Kay: The Discovery Process

It's important, novelist Terry Kay says, to keep the reader within the writer interested in the story.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Terry Kay: “Sensing the Character”

Author Terry Kay explains that he wants his readers to "sense" his characters.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Philip Lee Williams

Philip Lee Williams

A prolific writer and Georgia native, Philip Lee Williams received the Georgia Writer of the Year Award from the Georgia Writers Association for In the Morning, Campfire Boys, and The Flower Seeker.

Philip Lee Williams

Philip Lee Williams

Georgia native Philip Lee Williams, pictured in 2006, is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and poet. A former journalist, Williams also worked for nearly twenty-five years at the University of Georgia, including thirteen years as director of public information for the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Photograph by Brandon Williams

All the Western Stars

All the Western Stars

Philip Lee Williams has a comic side that is especially apparent in All the Western Stars (1988), the story of a former construction worker and a washed-up novelist who form an unlikely duo and break out of a nursing home in search of adventure.

Philip Lee Williams reads from The Heart of a Distant Forest

Philip Lee Williams reads from his first novel, (1984).

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Video: Philip Lee Williams: Maturing as a Writer

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Philip Lee Williams: Why Writers Write

Most writers are drawn to the same themes over and over for a reason, novelist Philip Lee Williams believes.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Video: Philip Lee Williams: Trampled Ego of Novelist

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Philip Lee Williams: Inevitability

Novelist Philip Lee Williams describes why a work should feel "inevitable."

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris

One of the South's most treasured authors, Joel Chandler Harris gained national prominence for his numerous volumes of Uncle Remus folktales.

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris died on July 3, 1908, of acute nephritis and was buried in Westview Cemetery in Atlanta. Obituary writers were not exaggerating when they eulogized this celebrated middle Georgia writer as "the most beloved man in America."

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris took his work as a fiction writer seriously, and he honed his craft considerably in the course of publishing seven volumes of short stories (in addition to the Uncle Remus tales) and three more novels.

Turnwold Plantation

Turnwold Plantation

Five enslaved people are pictured at Turnwold Plantation, the Eatonton estate of Joseph Addison Turner. Writer Joel Chandler Harris, who lived at Turnwold during the Civil War, drew upon his experiences there to write his Uncle Remus tales, as well as his autobiographical novel On the Plantation.

Joel Chandler Harris postage stamp

Joel Chandler Harris Postage Stamp

This 1948 first-class postage stamp commemorates Georgia author Joel Chandler Harris. Harris's retelling of the story of Brer Rabbit remains one of the world's best-known folktales.

Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Wrens Nest

Wrens Nest

Once the home of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus tales, the Wren's Nest is today the oldest house museum in Atlanta. Harris moved to this house in 1881, purchased it in 1883, and did most of his later writing here until his death in 1908. The house, on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

From Bruce Bickley

books

books

Evelyn Hanna

Evelyn Hanna

Hanna used the American Civil War as a backdrop for her romantic fiction, Blackberry Winter (1938) and Sugar in the Gourd (1942).

From History of Upson County, by C. W. Nottingham and E. Hanna

Vereen Bell

Vereen Bell

Vereen Bell wrote fiction and magazine articles set in the southern outdoors, and he achieved popular success with Swamp Water (1940).

Vereen Bell

Vereen Bell

Several of Bell's stories about hunting dogs were published in a posthumous Armed Services Edition compilation, Brag Dog and Other Stories, which was republished in 2000.

Courtesy of Mrs. W. H. Long

Berry Fleming

Berry Fleming

Along with writing, painting was a lifelong passion for Fleming.

Reprinted by permission of Morris Communications

Berry Fleming

Berry Fleming

Fleming is best known for his novel Colonel Effingham's Raid (1943), a thinly veiled story of political corruption in Richmond County.

Reprinted by permission of Morris Communications

Major Ridge

Major Ridge

Hand-colored lithograph of Major Ridge, a Cherokee leader who helped establish the Cherokee system of government. The soldier, politician, and plantation owner is remembered for signing the Treaty of New Echota (1835), which ceded Cherokee lands to the U.S. government and authorized Cherokee removal.

From History of the Indian Tribes of North America, by T. McKenney and J. Hall

John Rollin Ridge

John Rollin Ridge

John Rollin Ridge is the author of what is considered both the first Native American novel and the first novel written in California, The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit (1854).

Courtesy of University of Oklahoma Library, Western History Collection.

Pam Durban

Pam Durban

Pam Durban has written several highly acclaimed short story collections and novels, including All Set About with Fever Trees and Other Stories (1985), The Laughing Place (1993), and So Far Back (2000). She has won numerous literary awards and honors.

Frances Newman

Frances Newman

Newman's novels, The Hard-Boiled Virgin (1926) and Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers (1928), portrayed the widely acclaimed social change in the South at the turn of the century as superficial rather than substantial for women, who continued to have restrictive roles in marriage and limited educational and career opportunities.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy

Atlanta-born Conroy drew on personal experiences for his highly popular books, including The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and Beach Music.

The Great Santini

The Great Santini

Pat Conroy's first novel, The Great Santini (1976), depicts a chaotic household ruled by the egotistical and despotic Bull Meecham, a highly decorated Marine fighter pilot molded after Conroy's own father.

The Lords of Discipline

The Lords of Discipline

Will McLean, the protagonist of The Lords of Discipline (1980), is a student cadet at a military institution much like the Citadel, the military academy Pat Conroy attended.

Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy

A "military brat," writer Pat Conroy moved with his family numerous times during his childhood and youth.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor's first novel, Wise Blood (1952), is filled with her Christian vision and black humor. A novel of spiritual quest, it presents the male "pilgrim," Hazel Motes, as inhabiting a sterile and ugly modern landscape derivative of O'Connor's early model The Waste Land, a poem by T. S. Eliot.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

At the age of thirty-nine, Flannery O'Connor died on August 3, 1964, of lupus, the disease that had also afflicted her father. She is buried in Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville. The posthumous collection The Complete Stories received the National Book Award in 1972.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor attended college at what is now Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. She subsequently entered the master's program in creative writing at the University of Iowa and joined the now world-famous Writers' Workshop under Paul Engle.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

Born in Savannah, Georgia, on March 25, 1925, Flannery O'Connor began her education at the city's parochial schools.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

The Complete Stories

The Complete Stories

In 1972 Flannery O'Connor's posthumous short fiction collection The Complete Stories received the National Book Award, which is usually given to a living writer.

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

At the age of twenty-five, Flannery O'Connor contracted lupus and returned to her family's farm in Milledgeville, where she lived and wrote for the remainder of her life. She stayed in touch with the literary world through letters and became well known for raising a flock of peacocks.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

Erskine Caldwell

Erskine Caldwell

Erskine Caldwell settled outside of Georgia shortly before he was twenty-five, paying extended visits to his parents in Wrens for as long as they lived there. Though he lived much of his life outside the South, the region stayed on his mind and figured prominently in most of his writing.

Erskine Caldwell

Erskine Caldwell

Deeply influenced by his father, a minister and social reformer, Caldwell depicted life among the lowly in Georgia and the rest of the South in such works as Tobacco Road (1932) and God's Little Acre (1933).

James Kilgo

James Kilgo

James Kilgo was on the faculty of the University of Georgia from 1967 to 1999, where he received five Outstanding Honors Professor awards and the Honoratus Award for Excellence in Teaching. His novel, Daughter of My People (1998), earned him the Townsend Prize for Fiction.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms is the author of a collection of poetry, Ice Poems (1988), a collection of stories, Trouble No More (1995), and two novels, Bombingham (2001) and The Vain Conversation (2018).

Photograph by J. D. Scott

Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms is a writer and arts administrator who is well known in the Atlanta area for his work in organizing arts events and for his support and encouragement of other writers.

Courtesy of Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms: Write Your Stories

Novelist Anthony Grooms relates some advice he received from the writer Raymond Andrews (1934-91) on the expectations of others.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Anthony Grooms: Being “Southern” and “Black”

Anthony Grooms discusses how he doesn't feel limited by being a southern writer and a Black writer.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Anthony Grooms reads from Bombingham

Anthony Grooms reads from his novel (2001).

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Corra Harris

Corra Harris

Harris's best-known work, A Circuit Rider's Wife (1910), is a semiautobiographical novel based on life with her Methodist minister husband, Lundy.

Corra Harris

Corra Harris

As a widow, Harris spent the last two decades of her life at her place "In the Valley" outside of Cartersville, Georgia. She died there in 1935.

Lundy Harris

Lundy Harris

Lundy Harris, a circuit-riding Methodist minister, married author Corra Harris when she was just seventeen years old. Their life together inspired Mrs. Harris's book A Circuit Rider's Wife. After twenty-four years of marriage, Mr. Harris died while visiting a friend near Pine Log.

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith, pictured in 1945, refused to join the Southern Regional Council because she believed the organization should make the ending of segregation its top priority. She and Howard W. Odum held opposing views about the approach the council should take to achieve necessary reforms.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
rab360.

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