Mary Lee Settle

Franklin Library leather bound book Mary Lee Settle

Franklin Library Mary Lee Settle books

Celebration - signed first edition - 1986
Charley Bland - signed first edition - 1989

Author Mary Lee Settle

Mary Lee Settle, born on July 29, 1918, was an American novelist best known for her exploration of the Appalachian region and her contributions to the literary world. She was born in Charleston, West Virginia, into a family deeply rooted in the culture and history of the Appalachian Mountains. Settle grew up surrounded by the rich oral traditions and natural beauty of Appalachia, experiences that would deeply influence her writing in later years. After attending Sweet Briar College in Virginia, she pursued a career in writing, initially working as a journalist and freelance writer.

Settle's literary career took off with the publication of her first novel, The Love Eaters, in 1954. However, it was her Beulah Quintet, a series of five novels set in the Appalachian region, for which she is best remembered. The quintet consists of O Beulah Land (1956), Know Nothing (1960), Prisons (1973), The Scapegoat (1980), and The Killing Ground (1982). Through these novels, Settle delved deep into the complexities of Appalachian culture, history, and identity, portraying the region with both reverence and critical insight. Settle's writing was characterized by its lyrical prose, keen sense of place, and deep empathy for her characters. She was unafraid to tackle difficult subjects such as poverty, racism, and environmental degradation, shedding light on the challenges faced by the people of Appalachia while also celebrating their resilience and strength. In addition to her novels, Settle wrote several works of non-fiction, including All the Brave Promises: Memories of Aircraft Woman 2nd Class 2146391 (1966), a memoir of her experiences as a volunteer ambulance driver during World War II.

Throughout her career, Settle received numerous awards and accolades for her writing, including the National Book Award for Fiction in 1978 for Blood Tie. She was also a passionate advocate for the preservation of Appalachian culture and the environment, using her platform as a writer to raise awareness of issues affecting the region. Mary Lee Settle passed away on September 27, 2005, leaving behind a rich literary legacy that continues to inspire readers and writers alike. Her commitment to portraying the complexities of the human experience, particularly in the context of the Appalachian region, has earned her a lasting place in American literature.

Franklin Library notes Mary Lee Settle

Mary Lee Settle signed


Leather bound book Celebration

Charley Bland

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