Bernice Kelly Harris (Paperback)
A Good Life Was Writing (Southern Biography)
Louisiana State University Press, 9780807131565, 334pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2001
The seven novels of North Carolina writer Bernice Kelly Harris (1894--1973) were published to international acclaim in the 1940s, and her plays were produced on television in the 1950s. Yet, despite her success at midlife, she spent her last years struggling to make ends meet and was virtually unknown by the time of her death. In this compelling biography -- the first full-scale life of Harris since 1955 and the first to utilize unpublished autobiographical writings and confidential letters -- Valerie Raleigh Yow brings Harris back into the spotlight, revealing an extraordinary woman who thrived artistically while living a quite ordinary life. Yow's intimate portrait of Harris shows her responding to society's strictures by exploring in fiction the paths not open to her in real life.