Kaye Gibbons Biography | Author of Ellen Foster

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When Gibbons first published Ellen Foster in 1987, journalists writing about the book-her first novel-wanted to know whether narrator Ellen's troubled childhood reflected in any way the early experiences of her creator.

Born in 1960 in Nash County, North Carolina, Gibbons, not wanting to draw attention to her own life as a means of publicizing the book, was reluctant at first to discuss her childhood with the press. Eventually though, she revealed that her mother, like Ellen's, had committed suicide when Gibbons was ten, an event which led to her family's breakup and to Gibbons's having to live in a succession of relatives' homes.

Gibbons went on to graduate from Rocky Mount High School in North Carolina, and while a college student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she began writing a poem in the voice of Starletta. Gibbons told Bob Summer in a Publishers Weekly interview...

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This section contains 328 words
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Buy the Ellen Foster Study Guide
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Ellen Foster from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.