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Mary Lee Settle

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Title: Mary Lee Settle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: The Spectator Bird, Pete Dexter, Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, The Pleasure Garden (1953 film), The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
Collection: 1918 Births, 2005 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Novelists, 20Th-Century Women Writers, 21St-Century American Novelists, 21St-Century Women Writers, Alumni of Women's Universities and Colleges, American Women Novelists, Bard College Faculty, Cancer Deaths in Virginia, Deaths from Lung Cancer, Guggenheim Fellows, Iowa Writers' Workshop Faculty, National Book Award Winners, People from Charleston, West Virginia, Sweet Briar College Alumni, University of Virginia Faculty, Writers from West Virginia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mary Lee Settle

Mary Lee Settle

Mary Lee Settle (July 29, 1918, Charleston, West Virginia – September 27, 2005, Ivy, Virginia) was an American writer.[1]

She won the 1978 National Book Award for her novel Blood Tie[2] and was a founder of the annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.[3]


  • Life 1
  • Death 2
  • Works 3
    • Novels and memoirs 3.1
    • Other non-fiction 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


She attended Sweet Briar College for two years, then moved to New York City in pursuit of a career as an actress and model, and tested for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.

During World War II, she joined the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and then the Office of War Information. She taught at Bard College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and University of Virginia.[4] She lived for many years in Canada, in England, and in Turkey.[5]

Settle is most famous for a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet (Prisons, O Beulah Land, Know Nothing, The Scapegoat, The Killing Ground), which cover the history of West Virginia. She wrote several works of non-fiction.[6]


She died of lung cancer in Ivy, Virginia on September 27, 2005, aged 87, while writing her last book.[6]


Novels and memoirs

  • The Love Eaters (1954)
  • The Kiss of Kin (1955)
  • O Beulah Land (1956)
  • Know Nothing (1960)
  • Fight Night on a Sweet Saturday (1964)
  • All the Brave Promises: The Memories of Aircraft Woman 2nd Class 2146391 (1966)
  • The Clam Shell (1970)
  • Prisons (1973)
  • Blood Tie (1977)
  • The Scapegoat (1980)
  • The Killing Grounds (1982)
  • "Celebration" (1986)
  • Charley Bland (1989)
  • Turkish Reflections: A Biography of Place (1991)
  • Choices (1995)
  • Addie: A Memoir (1998)
  • I, Roger Williams: A Novel (2002)
  • Spanish Recognitions: The Road from the Past (2004)

Other non-fiction

  • All the Brave Promises
  • The Scopes trial
  • Water World


  1. ^ "Mary Lee Settle". Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  2. ^ "National Book Awards – 1978". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
    (With essay by Rebecca Wolff from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  3. ^ Matt Schudel (September 29, 2005). "Novelist Mary Lee Settle; Founded PEN/Faulkner Award".  
  4. ^ "Mary Lee Settle profile". Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  5. ^ Christopher Reed (October 10, 2005). "Mary Lee Settle". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ a b Anita gates (September 29, 2005). "Mary Lee Settle, 87, Author of 'Beulah' Novels, Is Dead". The New York Times. 

External links

  • John Kenny Crane (Spring 1990). "Mary Lee Settle, The Art of Fiction No. 116". The Paris Review. 
  • "Mary Lee Settle" by Brian O. Hogbin
  • Brian C. Rosenberg (Summer 1989). "Mary Lee Settle and the Critics". The Virginia Quarterly Review. 
  • Mariflo Stephens (Autumn 1996). "Mary Lee Settle: the Lioness In Winter". 

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