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 UGA Libraries.
White, a native of Thomasville, and Willingham, 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. 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. White taught elementary school for two decades before turning to writing full time, 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.