Percival Everett grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and has published 15 novels, three collections of short fiction, and one volume of poetry. Among his novels are Wounded, American Desert, For Her Dark Skin, Zulus, The Weather and the Women Treat Me Fair, Suder, and Erasure. He has received the the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature for his short story collection Big Picture, a New Writing Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Everett teaches creative writing, American studies, and critical theory at the University of Southern California.
Horton Foote has written many plays, including The Trip to Bountiful, which was adapted to the screen. He wrote the screenplays for To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies and received Academy Awards for both. His play, The Young Man from Atlanta, earned him a 1995 Pulitzer Prize. In 1998, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and also received the Gold Medal for Drama. In December 2000, he was given the National Medal of Arts Award by President Clinton. He released Beginnings: A Memoir in 2001.
John Hope Franklin is the author of several historical works including A Southern Odyssey: Travellers in the Antebellum North, Racial Equality in America, The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-first Century, and In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he was the first recipient of the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Cleanth Brooks Medal. Franklin has been awarded the Spingarn Medal for Achievement from the NAACP, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Gold Medal for History by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Franklin released his autobiography, Mirror to America, in 2005.
Shelby Foote (1916-2005) is the author of the three-volume history, The Civil War. Among his other novels are Shiloh; Love in a Dry Season; September, September; and Follow Me Down. Foote is also the editor of Chickamauga and Other Civil War Stories and The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy. His honors include three Guggenheim Fellowships, a Ford Foundation Grant, the Ingersoll Award, and the 1999 Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Letters.
Ernest J. Gaines was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel A Lesson Before Dying. Other works include Of Love and Dust, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, A Gathering of Old Men, and Bloodline, a collection of short stories. He received a MacArthur Foundation grant in 1993, was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Lettres in 1996, and in 1998 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His latest work is a collection of autobiographical essays and short stories, Mozart and Leadbelly: Stories and Essays.
George Garrett, former Chancellor and founding member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, has written over 30 books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and taught for 42 years at the University of Virginia. His Elizabethan Trilogy includes Death of the Fox, The Succession, and Entered from the Sun. Recent books are Double Vision, Bad Man Blues, Going to See the Elephant, Empty Bed Blues, and Southern Excursions. Honors include the Prix de Rome, the T.S. Eliot Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, the Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts, and the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry. Garrett served as Poet Laureate of Virginia.