Many Americas

Kaye Gibbons (1960-    )

Ellen Foster


  • Born in 1960 in Nash County, North Carolina.
  • Married once (divorced); partner of Frank Ward, an attorney; has three daughters.
  • Attended North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina, where she wrote her first novel..


  • Received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation for Ellen Foster. 
  • Has won numerous awards for her later fiction and is the youngest writer ever to receive the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, recognizing her contribution to French literature. 
  • Both Ellen Foster and her second novel, A Virtuous Woman, past selections of Oprah's Book Club.

Major Writings

Ellen Foster (1987)
A Virtuous Woman (1989)
A Cure for Dreams (1991)
Charms for the Easy Life (1993)
Sights Unseen (1995)
On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon (1998)
The Book of Knowledge (1995)

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • Biographical and critical information in the following Gale publications: Contemporary Authors, Volume 151 and Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volumes 50 and 88.  Gale Literary Database (Contemporary Authors Online) can be accessed online through a subscribing library at   (CLC volumes contain portrait.)
  • Other print sources for biographical and critical information:

           American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the              Present, Volume 5. Edited by Carol Hurd Green and Mary Grimley Mason. New               York, 1994.
            Contemporary Southern Writers. Edited by Roger Matuz.  Detroit, 1999.
            Southern Selves, from Mark Twain and Eudora Welty to Maya Angelou and Kaye             Gibbons: A Collection of Autobiogrpahical Writing. Ed. James Watkins. Vintage,              1998.

Retired Discussion Series

Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
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