Ginnah Howard

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A Conversation with Ginnah Howard

Photo of bats flying en masse at twilight.

Are there any other factors in your life that have influenced your writing?

I was born in 1939 in Charleston, West Virginia. Though I didn’t discover writing until much later in my life, I was a lover of books. A long-term thumb-sucker who could be happy for hours off in stories. My favorites were usually English orphans or a girl in the limber lost, characters wronged by people I loathed. Though finally I overcame my attraction to Rhett Butler, I’m still leaning into some of the after-shocks.

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< ... The beginning of the conversation


I grew up under the care of a strong mother, also a lover of books, a person who always encouraged me. The kind of woman who was able to run the night infirmary on the 17th floor in one of Pratt’s dormitories after undergoing some failed knee surgery, dressed in a bright caftan which covered a body cast that ran from below her breast down her left leg to her toes. A woman who when I became pregnant encouraged me not to drop out of graduate school with the advice that I might have to work one day. A one day that began almost immediately and lasted for twenty-seven years of teaching high school English, a job I graduated from in 1995 which left me more time to sit down to put words on the page.

Photo of an egret on a deck railing at sunset.



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