She grew up in Commerce, Georgia, in the s with three older siblings. Her father had been a farmer who went broke during the Great Depression. Olive Ann went to high school in Macon and to Mercer University in Macon, then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated with a degree in journalism in
Leaving Cold Sassy Olive Ann Burns was a professional writer, journalist, and columnist for most of her life. She published two novels, one posthumously, and for many years was a staff writer for Atlanta newspapers and the Atlanta Journal Magazine.
Her most notable achievement was Cold Sassy Tree, a novel that describes rural southern life and a young boy's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. The youngest of four children, she grew up during the s in her father's hometown of Commerce and attended high school in Macon.
She then continued her education at Mercer University in Macon, where she studied for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Shortly after graduating with a journalism degree inshe was hired as a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution Magazine later Atlanta Journal Magazine under the editorship of Angus Perkerson.
Burns wrote for the magazine for ten years. During that time she became acquainted with fellow journalist Andrew Sparks, and the two married in They had a daughter in and a son in Burns continued working as a freelance writer, serving as advice columnist "Amy Larkin" for the Atlanta Journal Magazine and the Atlanta Constitution until Cold Sassy Tree Burns once stated, "Being a journalist, I never expected to get around to fiction," but in a cancer diagnosis altered her plans.
Even before she left the doctor's office, she had decided to write a novel, a decision that "surprised me more than the diagnosis. This diagnosis prompted Burns to begin a family history shortly thereafter. After her mother died inBurns relied on her father's recollections to help her write the history.
One of his favorite family stories was about Grandpa Power, a practical man who remarried three weeks after the death of his first wife, in part because he needed a housekeeper. Although Burns thought that the story of Grandpa Power's quick marriage and its scandalous impact in a small town like Commerce would make an excellent premise for a book, she had never anticipated writing a novel until her own cancer diagnosis.
Drawing from her family history, she continued to gather material about people and events at the turn of the century from relatives and friends, books, and newspapers. She transformed their vivid memories into the coming-of-age story of Will Tweedy, the novel's main character and narrator, and his life in fictional Cold Sassy, Georgia, in The fourteen-year-old Tweedy was inspired by Burns's father; his "adolescent" counterpart, the newly married Grandpa Blakeslee, was a reincarnated Grandpa Power.
Inhabited by irreverent characters, the idyllic town of Cold Sassy provides the setting for a poignant and funny story about southern life at the turn of the century. Cold Sassy Tree was published inwhen Burns was sixty. The novel became an instant success and was chosen as a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection.
In it was added to the list of books recommended for teenagers by the American Library Association and the New York Public Library. In chemotherapy resulted in congestive heart failure, and Burns was prescribed bed rest. She turned for assistance to her neighbor Norma Duncan, who transcribed the author's words, enabling her to finish the second novel, which was initially called Time, Dirt, and Money.
After battling cancer for fifteen years, and being confined to bed for the last three, Burns died on July 4, Her second novel, renamed Leaving Cold Sassy, was published in You Might Also Like.Cold Sassy Tree: Biography: Olive Ann Burns, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
Olive Ann Burns Writing Styles in Cold Sassy Tree Olive Ann Burns This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cold Sassy Tree.
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Hall of Fame Honorees Judith Ortiz Cofer. Judith Ortiz Cofer was a critically acclaimed and widely published poet, novelist, and essayist. A longtime Georgian, she wrote extensively about the experience of being Puerto Rican and about her identity as a woman and writer in the United States.
Olive Ann Burns, who was born in Banks County, Georgia, in , wrote Cold Sassy Tree. Burns collected all the stories of her father and his grandfather, a store owner in Commerce, which were a model for Cold Sassy. She wrote the sequel to this novel before dying in Characters Will T.
Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. 1 1 1 1. Previous page. Paperback Olive Ann Burns, reader Frances Cassidy, Unabridged, 6 cassettes, B-O-T Frances Cassidy Audio Cassette.
$ $ 23 Leaving Cold Sassy. by Olive Written works: Cold Sassy Tree.