ePub Assessment and Outcomes in the Arts Therapies ePub

by Caroline Miller

Caroline Miller published her first novel, Lamb in His Bosom, in 1933 and became the first Georgian to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The thirty-year-old housewife and author produced one of the most critically acclaimed first novels of the Southern Renaissance period. In addition to the Pulitzer, the novel earned France's Prix Femina in 1934 and became an immediate best-seller.

Miller, the youngest of seven children, was born on August 26, 1903, in Waycross (in Ware County) to a schoolteacher and a Methodist minister. Miller's father died while she was in junior high school; her mother died in her junior year of high school. She demonstrated an early interest in writing and acting and performed in several high school plays. Shortly after graduation she married her high school English teacher, William D. Miller, and the couple moved to Baxley. In 1927, after six years of marriage, a son was born. Miller gave birth again in 1929 to twin boys. In addition to her domestic duties, Miller continued to write short stories to supplement the family income.

Described by literary critics as a work of regional historical realism, Lamb in His Bosom depicts the struggle and hardships of poor white pioneers in the nineteenth century on the south Georgia frontier, known as the wiregrass region.

The stress of sudden fame and attention strained the Millers' marriage, and in 1936 the couple divorced. In 1937 Caroline Miller married a florist and antique dealer, Clyde H. Ray Jr. The couple made their home in Waynesville, North Carolina, where Caroline helped her husband in his business and gave birth to a fourth son and a daughter.

Miller continued to write features and short stories for newspapers and magazines. Her second novel, Lebanon (1944), received a lukewarm reception from critics, and Miller herself was not satisfied with it.

During the following decades Miller wrote prolifically and completed several manuscripts. Uncomfortable in the glare of the public spotlight so many years earlier, Miller chose not to publish any additional work. She remained in her mountain home in western North Carolina, cherishing her privacy and solitude. Lamb in His Bosom enjoyed a resurgence of popularity a year after Miller's death, when Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta reprinted the novel with an afterword by historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. This signaled a new attention to her work by both literary scholars and historians.

Caroline Miller died on July 12, 1992, knowing that she had received what she once declared to be the true reward of a novelist—"the knowledge that after he dies he will leave the best part of himself behind."

Miller was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2007 and into Georgia Women of Achievement in 2009.
[The New Georgia Encyclopedia]

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PublisherJessica Kingsley Publishers
Release date 09.10.2013
Pages count266
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