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Bernice Kelly Harris

A Good Life Was Writing

Southern Biography

360 pages / 0.00 x 0.00 inches / no illustrations

Literature - American

  Paperback / 9780807131565 / May 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 In this compelling biography—the first full-scale life of Harris since 1955 and the first to utilize unpublished autobiographical writings and confidential letters—Valerie Raleigh Yow brings Harris back into the spotlight, revealing an extraordinary woman who thrived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. 

Valerie Raleigh Yow, a history professor for many years, is an independent scholar and a counselor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is the author of several books, including Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences and The History of Hera: A Woman's Art Cooperative.

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