Raymond Andrews

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Raymond Andrews
Born(1934-06-06)June 6, 1934
Plainview, Georgia
DiedNovember 25, 1991(1991-11-25) (aged 57)
Athens, Georgia
Notable worksAppalachee Red
SpouseAdelheid "Heidi" Wenger (1966-1980)
RelativesBenny Andrews (brother)

Raymond Andrews (June 6, 1934 – November 25, 1991) was an African-American novelist.


Early life and education[edit]

Raymond Andrews was born June 6, 1934 in Plainview, Georgia and grew up in north central Georgia. He was the fourth child of George and Viola Andrews, who worked as sharecroppers.[1] In total, he had nine siblings.[1] At age fifteen Andrews moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began working and attended high school at Booker T. Washington High School.[2] Andrews graduated from Washington High School in 1952. Following his graduation, he served four years in the United States Air Force.[1] He spent a portion of his service stationed in Korea.[1]


After he finished his tour of duty, Andrews briefly attended Michigan State University before moving to New York City where he held a variety of jobs.[1] At various times, he worked as an airline agent for KLM Airlines, an air courier, and a proofreader.[1][3] While working with KLM Airlines, Andrews traveled extensively and visited countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands.[1]

Andrews' first national publication was in an issue of Sports Illustrated in 1966 and was written about the first time the game of football had ever been played in the Plainview community where he grew up. In the early 1970s began Dial Press began publishing his Muskhogean trilogy which told about the life of an African American in the south from the end of World War I to the beginning of the 1960s. The trilogy consists of Appalachee Red, Rosiebelle Lee Wildcat Tennessee, and Baby Sweet's.[2]

The books written by Raymond Andrews have been applauded by numerous critics and other writers. Novelist Richard Bausch described Andrew's writing as having "a smiling generosity of spirit."[2] Appalachee Red received the James Baldwin Prize in 1979.[1]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Andrews hosted writing workshops, worked as a guest lecturer, and published several essays and reviews.[1] He published his memoir The Last Radio Baby in 1990, and the following year he published the novel Jessie and Jesus and Cousin Claire.[1]

Marriage and children[edit]

Andrews married Adelheid "Heidi" Wenger in 1966 in New York City.[1] The couple divorced in 1980.[1]

Death and afterward[edit]

Andrews died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Athens, Georgia on November 25, 1991.[4]

Published works[edit]

  • Appalachee Red (Dial Press, 1978)
  • Rosiebelle Lee Wildcat Tennessee (Dial Press, 1980)
  • Baby Sweet's (Dial Press, 1983)
  • The Last Radio Baby (Peachtree Publishers, 1990)
  • Jessie and Jesus; and, Cousin Claire (Peachtree Publishers, 1991)
  • Once Upon a Time in Atlanta (Chattahoochee Review, 1998)[5]


  • 1979: James Baldwin Prize[1]
  • 2009: inductee, Georgia Writers Hall of Fame[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Raymond., Andrews, (2006-10-16). "Raymond Andrews papers". findingaids.library.emory.edu. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  2. ^ a b c "Raymond Andrews (1934-1991)". New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ "Finding Aid : Raymond Andrews papers, 1947-1992". Archived from the original on 2007-11-11.
  4. ^ "Raymond Andrews, author of books and articles, 57". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. 1991-11-28. p. E26.
  5. ^ "Silenced voice speaks through writings". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. 1998-03-26. p. J13. He later wrote about his pain, joy and revelations in segregated Atlanta in the autobiographic "Once Upon a Time in Atlanta". When Andrews committed suicide in 1991, the work could have died with him. But it was picked up by DeKalb College's literary magazine, The Chattahoochee Review...
  6. ^ http://www.libs.uga.edu/gawriters/andrews.html Honorees