Top 5 Middle Georgia Authors-Part 2
The women selected for this Top 5 list are compelling because of their ability to influence us through their words and ideas. In other words, these 5 women can tell (and sell) a good story. Although there are many more women throughout history who have proven to be influential authors, this list is constrained to those who have called middle Georgia home, with a focus on personal narrative and fiction writers.
1. melissa fay greene
A native of Macon, Georgia, Melissa Fay Greene is the author of five books of nonfiction: Praying for Sheetrock (1991), The Temple Bombing (1996), Last Man Out (2003), There Is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue her Country’s Children (2006), and No Biking in the House Without A Helmet (2011). Melissa has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Readers Digest, Life, MS, Newsweek, The Wilson Quarterly, Parade, Redbook, Parenting, HuffingtonPost, Salon, TheDailyBeast, and CNN.com and her books have been translated into 15 languages. She is a 2010 recipient of a doctorate of letters from Emory University and a 2011 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
2. anya silver
Silver’s first book of poetry, The Ninety-Third Name of God, was published by the Louisiana State University Press in 2010; her second, I Watched Her Disappear, was later published in 2014. Her work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, in Ted Kooser’s syndicated column American Life in Poetry, and on Poetry Daily. Born in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Silver was educated at Haverford College and Emory University. She teaches in the English Department of Mercer University and lives in Macon, Georgia, with her husband, Andrew, and son.
3. Lauretta hannon
Southern Living magazine has called her "The funniest woman in Georgia." Fans of storyteller-humorist Lauretta Hannon call her a Cracker Queen, from her book “The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life.” Hannon best describes a Cracker Queen as "Someone who's decided to live life with a purpose and face it with resilience and humor. It's someone who can use the bad things that happen and turn them into her mojo-so that they become the very things that make her stronger and better." Hannon grew up in middle Georgia, south of Macon in Warner Robins and later moved to Athens, Ga., where she attended UGA. Hannon’s resume reaches far beyond writing: She’s been a vice president of an advertising agency, a university executive, a fortune teller, an independent radio producer, a cocktail waitress and a writing instructor. As a marketing consultant, she has advised clients as diverse as Drexel University and The League of Women Voters. A documentary based on her life, “Raised in the South of Normal,” was is in this year’s (2015) Macon Film Festival competition.
4. tina mcelroy ansa
Tina McElroy Ansa is a novelist, publisher, filmmaker, teacher and journalist. But above all, she is a storyteller. She calls herself “part of a long and honored writing tradition, one of those little Southern girls who always knew she wanted to be a writer.” She grew up in Middle Georgia in the 1950s hearing her grandfather’s stories on the porch of her family home and strangers’ stories downtown in her father’s juke joint, which have inspired Mulberry, Georgia, the mythical world of her four novels, Baby of the Family, Ugly Ways, The Hand I Fan With and You Know Better. Ansa has also been a regular contributor to the award-winning television series CBS Sunday Morning with her essays, “Postcards from Georgia.” She also writes magazine and newspaper articles, Op-Ed pieces and book reviews for the Los Angeles Times, (New York) Newsday, The Atlanta Constitution, and the Florida Times-Union.
5. mary flannery o'connor
Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. In 1940, her family moved from Savannah to Milledgeville to live in the Cline family home on Greene Street. Her father died of lupus early in 1941, and Mrs. O’Connor and Flannery continued to live in the Milledgeville family home along with Flannery’s aunts. It is here where Flannery O’Connor would continue to live, with a bedroom on the second floor, while she attended Peabody High School and Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College & State University). In late 1950, Flannery O’Connor began to exhibit symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body, including skin, joints, or internal organs. O’Connor’s condition forced her to return to Milledgeville in 1951, but she continued working on revised drafts of her novel Wise Blood until it was published in 1952. Instead of returning to the family home in town, she and her mother moved to the family farm, Andalusia, where she lived for 13 years until her death in 1964.