On this day in Alabama history: Mary Ward Brown, acclaimed fiction writer, died

On this day in Alabama history: Mary Ward Brown, acclaimed fiction writer, died
Mary Ward Brown's short-story collection "Tongues of Flame" received an award from the Hemingway Foundation in 1986, the year it was published. She has been honored with the 2002 Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer and the 2003 Hillsdale Prize for Fiction. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Photograph by Jerry Siegel)

May 14, 2013

Mary Ward Brown, whose collection of short stories, “Tongues of Flame,” earned her widespread fame relatively late in life, died in Marion at the age of 95. Brown was born in Perry County in 1917 and became editor of her high school and college newspapers. She married Kirtley Brown, who worked in public relations at Auburn University, in 1939. She wrote little in the following years, but after the death of her husband in 1970 she began writing again and was published in several magazines and short story anthologies. “Tongues of Flame” was published in 1986 and was a literary sensation, winning numerous awards. Her second collection, “It Wasn’t All Dancing,” came out in 2002 to more acclaim. Many of her stories examined themes of race relations and religion in the Deep South. Brown was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

Author Mary Ward Brown (1917-2013), a native of Hamburg, Perry County, was acclaimed for her short stories. Her collection “Tongues of Flame” brought her to national attention in 1986. Her work centers on the changing cultural landscape of the South from the 1950s through the 1970s. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Photograph by Jerry Siegel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories