Mary Lee Settle

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Mary Lee Settle
Mary Lee Settle
Mary Lee Settle
Born (1918-07-29)July 29, 1918
Charleston, WV
Died September 27, 2005(2005-09-27) (aged 87)
Ivy, VA
Occupation Author
Nationality U.S.A.
Rodney Weathersbee
(m. 1939; div. 1946)
Douglas Newton
(m. 1946; div. 1956)
William Tazewell (m. 1978)

Mary Lee Settle was an American writer.[1]

She won the 1978 National Book Award for her novel Blood Tie[2] and was a founder of the annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.[3]


She attended Sweet Briar College for two years, then moved to New York City in pursuit of a career as an actress and model, and tested for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.[4]

During World War II, she joined the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and then the Office of War Information. She taught at Bard College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and University of Virginia.[5] She lived for many years in Canada, in England, and in Turkey.[6]

Settle is most famous for a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet (Prisons, O Beulah Land, Know Nothing, The Scapegoat, The Killing Ground), which cover the history of West Virginia. She wrote several works of non-fiction.[7]


She died of lung cancer in Ivy, Virginia on September 27, 2005, aged 87, while writing her last book.[7]


Novels and memoirs

Other non-fiction

  • All the Brave Promises
  • The Scopes trial
  • Water World
  • The Story of Flight (1967)


  1. ^ "Mary Lee Settle". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  2. ^ "National Book Awards – 1978". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
    (With essay by Rebecca Wolff from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  3. ^ Matt Schudel (September 29, 2005). "Novelist Mary Lee Settle; Founded PEN/Faulkner Award". Washington Post. p. B07.
  4. ^ Reed, Christopher (2005-10-10). "Mary Lee Settle". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  5. ^ "Mary Lee Settle profile". Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  6. ^ Christopher Reed (October 10, 2005). "Mary Lee Settle". The Guardian.
  7. ^ a b Anita gates (September 29, 2005). "Mary Lee Settle, 87, Author of 'Beulah' Novels, Is Dead". The New York Times.

External links

  • John Kenny Crane (Spring 1990). "Mary Lee Settle, The Art of Fiction No. 116". The Paris Review.
  • "Mary Lee Settle" by Brian O. Hogbin
  • Brian C. Rosenberg (Summer 1989). "Mary Lee Settle and the Critics". The Virginia Quarterly Review.
  • Mariflo Stephens (Autumn 1996). "Mary Lee Settle: the Lioness In Winter".
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