Ellen Douglas

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Ellen Douglas was the pen name of Josephine Ayres Haxton (July 12, 1921 – November 7, 2012), an American author.[1] Her 1973 novel Apostles of Light was a National Book Award nominee.


Douglas was born in Natchez, Mississippi and grew up in Hope, Arkansas, and Alexandria, Louisiana. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1942.[2] She later taught writing there. She adopted the pen name Ellen Douglas before the publication of A Family’s Affairs to protect the privacy of two aunts, on whose lives she had based much of the plot.[3]

Douglas died of heart failure at the age of 91 on November 7, 2012.[4]

Margalit Fox writes 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."[3]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Novels and stories[edit]

  • A Family's Affairs (1961)
  • Black Cloud, White Cloud: Two Novellas and Two Stories (1963)
  • "On the Lake," in Prize Stories 1963 (1963)
  • Where The Dreams Cross (1968)
  • Apostles of Light (Houghton Mifflin 1973)
  • The Rock Cried Out (1979)
  • A Lifetime Burning (Random House 1982)
  • A Long Night (1986)
  • The Magic Carpet and Other Tales (1987)
  • Can't Quit You, Baby (Scribner 1988)



  1. ^ Paterson, Judith (July 10, 1988). Southern Discomforts. Washington Post
  2. ^ Associated Press (June 9, 2008). Author Ellen Douglas to be honored. USA Today
  3. ^ a b "Ellen Douglas, Novelist of Southern Life, Dies at 91". New York Times. November 12, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Miss. author Ellen Douglas dies at 91; was National Book Award nominee for Apostles of Light". The Washington Post. November 8, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]