Ellen Douglas (1921-2012)

Ellen DouglasJosephine Claxton chose the pseudonym Ellen Douglas when her first novel, A Family’s Affairs was to be published in 1962.  Apostles of Light (1973) was a National Book Award finalist, but it is Can’t Quit You Baby that is the essential novel of her career. Douglas’s nonfiction includes Truth: Four Stories I Am Old Enough to Tell and Witnessing. Following Douglas’s death, Margalit Fox wrote in the New York Times that Douglas’s work “explored the epochal divide between the Old South and the New, examining vast, difficult subjects — race relations, tensions between the sexes, the conflict between the needs of the individual and those of the community — through the small, clear prism of domestic life.”