Mary Lee Settle (1918 - 2005)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Mary Lee Settle

Mary Lee Settle (July 29, 1918, Charleston, West Virginia – September 27, 2005, Ivy, Virginia) was an American writer.

She won the 1978 National Book Award for her novel Blood Tie and was a founder of the annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.


She attended Sweet Briar College for two years, then moved to New York City in pursuit of a career as an actress and model, and even tested for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. During World War II, she joined the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and then the Office of War Information. She taught at Bard College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and University of Virginia. She lived for many years in Canada, in England, and in Turkey.

Settle is most famous for a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet (Prisons, O Beulah Land, Know Nothing, The Scapegoat, The Killing Ground), which cover the history of West Virginia. She wrote several works of non-fiction.


She died of lung cancer in Ivy, Virginia while writing her last book.