Athens, Ga. – The late Calder Willingham and South Georgia author Bailey White will be the 2008 inductees in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, sponsored by the University of Georgia Libraries.
White, a native of Thomasville, and Calder, an Atlanta native who grew up in Rome, will be honored April 11 in the Student Learning Center Rotunda beginning at 10:30 a.m. A reception follows. An exhibit of Georgia’s famous and influential writers will be on display through April in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, located in the Main Library.
Willingham established himself as a leading author in 1947 with the publication of End as a Man, based on his experiences at the Citadel. He spent several years as a screenwriter, working with prominent actors and producers, including collaborating on the screenplay for The Graduate, which became one of the most popular films of the 1960s and earned him an Academy Award nomination. The script for The Graduate is listed at number 13 of the 101 greatest screenplays by the Writers Guilds of America.
In 1972, Willingham published Rambling Rose, a semi-autobiographical account of his adolescence in Rome. He later adapted the novel for film, earning Academy Award nominations for two of its stars, Laura Dern and Diane Ladd.
Despite his success in Hollywood, Willingham considered himself a novelist and he wrote in a variety of genres. He died in 1995.
White achieved national prominence reading her essays on National Public Radio in her distinctive voice. White taught elementary school for two decades before turning to writing fulltime, capturing a very colorful picture of life in South Georgia with the dialogue and dialect of the area. She has published two essay collections, Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Sleeping at the Starlite Hotel, and one novel, Quite a Year for Plums. Her work also has appeared in numerous periodicals.
This biographical information comes from the New Georgia Encyclopedia, housed at the UGA Libraries and found on the web at http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Home.jsp. More information on the inductees and the people, places, events, and institutions of Georgia can be found there.
More information on the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame can be found at http://www.libs.uga.edu/gawriters/.