Virginia Is For Writers

unnamedAlthough I consider myself a native Missourian, having grown up there and graduated from high school there, I have lived in Virginia now longer than I’ve lived in any other state.  I went to college here, got married here, and my daughter was born here.  I don’t want to call myself a Virginian, but I have lived here for almost 13 years (wow!), and I supposed I have to.  I’ve not only lived here that long, I’ve also taught Virginia history, and have gotten to know much more about local and state history than I think I ever did in Missouri!

Virginia is home, and has been home, to some really great writers.  One of my favorite guilty pleasures is John Grisham – maybe not quite a guilty pleasure, but he never fails to get me wrapped up in a good legal drama.  These are just a few of the other authors that have called Virginia home:

V.C. Andrews – Author of Flowers in the Attic, and so many other great books, Ms Andrews is from Portsmouth, which is just along the Chesapeake Bay.  She has gone on to sell over a hundred million books, but Portsmouth has not forgotten her – it’s about 15 minutes from my house, and its where my daughter was born!

Willa Cather– Known for My Antonia, which is close to its 100 year anniversary.  She also wrote O, Pioneers!, and One of Ours, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.

David Baldacci – Virginia is home to numerous military bases, government headquarters, the FBI proving ground, and basically thousands (if not millions) of federal employees.  It’s no wonder having grown up here Baldacci has become a master of suspense.  He has sold millions – and had a few of his books made into movies.

Patricia Cornwell – She has sold millions of books all over the world, her works include some of the most compelling crime novels.  Her character, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, is the star of so many of her books, who is based on a real female medical examiner in Virginia.  Cornell once worked in the medical examiner’s office, which is probably what has inspired her writing.

Tom Wolfe – Author of the psychedelic Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Wolfe captured the color and craziness of the 60s in this book.  The book was first published in 1968, and since then he’s published several others – both fiction and non-fiction, and collections of essays.

Barbara Kingsolver – Kingsolver was actually born in Maryland, and since has lived all over the world.  She spent a brief time in Virginia, and that’s enough for me.  Especially since The Poisonwood Bible is one of my favorite books ever!

These writers don’t have much in common, other than their home state.  And these certainly aren’t the only notable writers from my new home state!  Virginia has been home to a wide variety of writers, poets, and artists.  This community of writers continue to grow.  And I continue to become more of a Virginian, and enjoying all that is great about this place, I’ll keep reading their books!

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