Campus News

Georgia Writers Hall of Fame to induct two authors, playwright

Olive Ann Burns, Mary Hood and Alfred Uhry are the newest members of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, to be inducted in a ceremony this fall.

Burns, who died in 1990, was a journalist who penned her first novel, Cold Sassy Tree, at age 60 after a cancer diagnosis. She was hired by the Atlanta newspapers after graduating with a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spent a decade as a writer there and also for the Atlanta Journal Magazine and its editor, Angus Perkerson. After marrying fellow journalist Andrew Sparks, she continued writing as a freelancer.

Drawing from family history, Burns spent more than eight years writing Cold Sassy Tree, consulting relatives, friends, books and newspapers about events at the turn of the century.

Hood’s first collection of short stories, How Far She Went, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Southern Review/Louisiana State University Short Fiction Award in 1984. Two years later her second collection, And Venus is Blue, picked up the Townsend Prize for Fiction, the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists Author-of-the-Year Award and the Lillian Smith Book Award. Stories from both collections have been widely anthologized.

Best known as a short story writer, Hood continues to write reviews and essays, and a novel, Familiar Heat, was published in 1995.

Uhry has won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and several Tony Awards for his work. He is the only playwright to win all three awards. He is best known for Driving Miss Daisy, set in Atlanta and based on Uhry’s grandmother and her driver. The play was awarded the Pulitzer for drama. Uhry’s first theatrical success was the adaptation of Eudora Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom into a musical, which earned Uhry a Tony Award.