Celestine Sibley

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Celestine Sibley (May 23, 1917 – August 15, 1999)[1] was an American journalist and author based in Atlanta.


Sibley was born in Holley, Florida. A friend of Margaret Mitchell in the 1940s, she wrote for the Atlanta Constitution from 1941 to 1999. According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, "Sibley was one of the most popular and long-running columnists for the Constitution, and her well-written and poignant essays on southern culture made her an icon in the South."[1][2] In addition to her column, she covered Georgia politics along with many high-profile court cases. She also wrote 25 books, both nonfiction and fiction, including mystery novels.[1][3]

She covered the Georgia General Assembly as a reporter, and in 2000, the press gallery in the Georgia House of Representatives was named in her honor.[4] She won the first Townsend Prize for Fiction in 1982 for her book Children, My Children.[5] She attended Spring Hill College and the University of Florida.[1] She died on Dog Island, Florida.

Sibley's granddaughter, Sibley Fleming, wrote a book about her grandmother, Celestine Sibley: A Granddaughter's Reminiscence. (2000)

Celestine Sibley and Sibley Fleming co-edited a collection of Sibley's writings, The Celestine Sibley Sampler: Writings & Photographs With Tributes to the Beloved Author and Journalist. (1997)

Selected works[1][edit]

  • The Malignant Heart, Doubleday (New York City), 1957.
  • Peachtree Street, U.S.A.: An Affectionate Portrait of Atlanta, Doubleday, 1963, published as Peachtree Street, U.S.A.: A Personal Look at Atlanta and Its History, Peachtree Publishers (Atlanta), 1994.
  • Christmas in Georgia, Doubleday, 1964.
  • A Place Called Sweet Apple, Doubleday, 1967.
  • Dear Store: An Affectionate Portrait of Rich's, Doubleday, 1967.
  • Especially at Christmas, Doubleday, 1969.
  • Mothers Are Always Special, Doubleday, 1970.
  • The Sweet Apple Gardening Book, Doubleday, 1972.
  • Day by Day with Celestine Sibley, Doubleday, 1975.
  • Small Blessings, Doubleday, 1977.
  • Jincey, Simon & Schuster (New York City), 1979.
  • The Magical Realm of Sallie Middleton, Oxmoor House (Birmingham, AL), 1980.
  • Children, My Children, Harper (New York City), 1981.
  • Young 'Uns: A Celebration, Harper, 1982.
  • For All Seasons, Peachtree Publishers, 1984.
  • Turned Funny: A Memoir, Harper, 1988.
  • Christmas in Georgia, Peachtree Publishers, 1985.
  • Tokens of Myself, Longstreet Press, 1990.

"Kate Mulcay" mystery novels[edit]

  • Ah, Sweet Mystery, HarperCollins (New York City), 1991.
  • Straight as an Arrow, HarperCollins, 1992.
  • Dire Happenings at Scratch Ankle, HarperCollins, 1993.
  • A Plague of Kinfolks, HarperCollins, 1995.
  • Spider in the Sink, HarperCollins, 1997.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Contemporary Authors Online". Biography in Context. Gale. 2005. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Purcell, Kim (13 August 2013). "Celestine Sibley (1914-1999)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  3. ^ Barringer, Felicity (August 17, 1999). "Celestine Sibley Is Dead at 85; Columnist Embodied the South". New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  4. ^ "HR 1184 - Sibley, Celestine; designate House press gallery in her honor". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  5. ^ "History of the Townsend Prize". Georgia Perimeter College. Retrieved 19 October 2015.