Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909) was an American novelist and short story writer greatly influenced by her surroundings. This led to her love of the natural surroundings of her native South Berwick, Maine, often the fictionalized setting for her novels and short stories.
Her first short story, “Mr. Bruce,” was published in The Atlantic Monthly when she was nineteen. Later, it would reappear in a collection of stories titled Deephaven, one of Jewett’s best-known works.
The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is considered Jewett’s masterpiece, and as a whole, her work is credited for helping to popularize the genre of regionalism in fiction. Read More→
Jessie Redmon Fauset (April 27, 1882 – April 30, 1961) was an American editor, poet, essayist, and novelist who was deeply involved with the Harlem Renaissance literary movement.
Born in Camden County, New Jersey, and raised in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of a Methodist Episcopal minister. Her mother died when she was quite young.
Bright and studious, Jessie Fauset was the first African-American to graduate from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. A stellar student, she wished to continue her studies at Bryn Mawr College, but the institution got around admitting a black student by securing a scholarship for her at Cornell University. Read More→
Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an American poet whose works included sonnets and ballads as well as blues rhythm in free verse. She also created lyrical poems, some of which were book-length. Though her work reflected urban African-American life, its underlying themes were universal to the human experience. Brooks’ lifetime output encompassed more than twenty books, including children’s books.
Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas; her family moved to Chicago during the period known as the Great Migration, when African-Americans moved in great numbers to Northern cities. She started writing and reading classic authors and poets when she was young.
Her first poem was published in a children’s magazine when she was 13 years old. Having been expelled from several schools merely because she was African-American, these experiences informed her views on race, and eventually influenced her work as a writer. Read More→