Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Peter Taylor (1917-1994)

Peter Taylor was born on January 8, 1917, in the small community of Trenton, Tennessee. The Taylor family moved several times during Peter’s childhood. While he was still a teenager, his family moved first to Nashville, Tennessee, then to St. Louis, Missouri, finally stopping in Memphis in 1936. Hit hard by the Great Depression, Peter’s…

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Beth Slater Whitson (1879-1930)

Songwriter Beth Slater Whitson was born in Goodrich, Hickman County, Tennessee, on December 1, 1879. Her parents were John H. Whitson and Anna Slater Whitson; her father was coeditor of the Hickman Pioneer newspaper. Beth Whitson began her extensive songwriting career in Hickman County. With the assistance of her younger sister Alice Whitson Norton, she…

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Joan Williams (1928-2004)

Williams’ writing career began in 1948, when she won the Mademoiselle college fiction contest her junior year at Bard College. The story she submitted, “Rain Later,” also garnered an honorable mention in the 1949 edition of Best American Short Stories. Following that triumph, Williams decided to intensify her energies on writing. Shortly after reading The…

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Anne Goodwin Winslow (1875-1959)

Anne Goodwin Winslow was born in Memphis, Tennessee. She had little formal schooling, but produced novels, poetry, short stories, and non-fiction.