Newnan, GA Writers
Newnan, Georgia is home to artist, athletes and authors. Some of its more renowned writers are Erskine Caldwell, Lewis Grizzard and Margaret Anne Barnes. Our Georgia site has more about Georgia authors if you want to learn about more great writers from the region.
Erskine Caldwell: This Coweta county author has been touted as one of the most widely read authors of the twentieth century. He wrote 25 novels, 150 short stories and 12 works of non-fiction. His books have been made into 3 movies as well as stage productions. Caldwell’s works were often criticized as a betrayal of the South, yet he was ranked by many of his peers to write with the literary genius of greats like Fitzgerald, Wolfe, and Steinbeck. In addition, he was under consideration for the Nobel Peace Prize during the 1960’s.
Caldwell was one of the first authors to have his writings produced for the mass market via paperback. By the 1940’s, Caldwell had sold more books than any other writer in American history. In 1984, he was elected to be the 50th chair at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died on April 11, 1987 in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
One of Caldwell's books is Tobacco Road and is a suggested read for anyone that wants to understand the South and the poverty it once faced in mass. This is also a great read.
Margaret Anne Barnes is a native of Coweta County and the winner of an Edgar Allen Poe Special Award for her book Murder in Coweta County. The book tells the true story of the conviction of John Wallace, who murdered Wilson Turner in 1948. The book is so fact-filled and well researched that it is still used today in sociology and criminal law courses all over the United States. Ms. Barnes now lives in Atlanta.
Lewis Grizzard: As one of Newnan’s (actually Moreland, which is just outside of Newnan), most beloved and prestigious authors, Grizzard was known all over America for his wit and writing. He was on The Johnny Carson Show, The Tonight Show, , acted with Delta Burke and on Designing Women, and was even considered for a Hollywood sitcom.
Mr. Grizzard began his newspaper career at 23 years old, as the sports editor for the Atlanta Journal and later went on to work-briefly- for the Chicago Sun Times. He ultimately returned to Atlanta and then, with the encouragement from his mentor, Jim Minter, he began writing his famed daily columns, which were ultimately syndicated and published in over 450 papers nationwide. He also wrote, using a typewriter (He refused to move into the modern age of computers) 18 books each filled with his Southern charm and witticism making him a favorite of many. Some of his titles include:
My Daddy Was a Pistol and I'm a Son of A Gun
If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground
, (written about his time spent in Chicago)
Don't Forget to Call Your Mama I Wish I Could Call Mine
They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat
Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes
Unfortunately, his life was much too short. Due to a heart defect he was born with, Lewis Grizzard died in 1994. Today, you can get a glimpse into the life and mind of this Southern writer at the Lewis Grizzard Museum in Moreland, Georgia.
If you are an author and live in Coweta County, or have ever lived, please contact us so that we can include your information and your book(s).