Josephine Haxton, known under the pen name of Ellen Douglas, was born in Natchez, Mississippi on July 12, 1921. As one of four children, she grew up in small towns throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. In 1942, she graduated from the University of Mississippi.
Along with her works as an author, Ellen Douglas has partaken in Writer-in-Residence programs at Northern Louisiana University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Virginia. Douglas has also lectured at Millsaps College, the University of Michigan, and Louisiana State University. She has also served as a faculty member of the Faulkner Symposium at the University of Mississippi.
Ellen Douglas’ writings include two collections of short stories, six novels, one nonfiction book, and various periodicals. Her novels focus around the regions of the state where she grew up and lived and features Mississippi characters. Her writings focus upon many of the themes that are predominantly found in Southern fiction, such as relations between blacks and whites, the role of the past in the present, as well as the worlds of gender, race, and class in the American South.
Her writings have been praised by many, a fact that is reflected in the awards she has received throughout her career. Douglas has received awards from the New York Times, the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Houghton Mifflin.
Ellen Douglas has three sons and five grandchildren, and currently resides in Jackson, Mississippi.
Truth: Four Stories I Am Finally Old Enough to Tell (1998)
Can’t Quit you, Baby (1988)
The Magic Carpet (1987)
A Lifetime Burning (1982)
The Rock Cried Out (1979)
Apostles of Light (1973)
Where the Dreams Cross (1968)
Black Cloud, White Cloud: Two Novellas and Two Stories (1963)
A Family’s Affair (1962)
Ellen Douglas also contributes to the following periodicals:
Harper’s, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, New Yorker, New Republic