The University of Georgia Libraries have named the 2018 inductees into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
Michael Bishop, Tayari Jones and Cynthia Shearer will be admitted at the November ceremony, and Furman Bisher and Frances Newman will be honored posthumously.
Furman Bisher, a prolific and highly regarded sportswriter and editor, became sports editor at the Atlanta Constitution in 1950 and continued with the paper until his retirement in 2009. He died in 2012 at the age of 93. Bisher also wrote for such national periodicals as Sports Illustrated and the Sporting News, in addition to publishing several books.
His journalistic coups included a 1949 interview with “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, his only interview since 1919, the year Jackson was ousted from baseball in the “Black Sox” scandal.
Bisher is in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and received as the Red Smith Award for contributions to journalism, among other honors.
UGA graduate Michael Bishop, best known for science fiction writing, began life in 1945 in a U.S. Air Force family, moving frequently throughout his childhood. Those locations, including a year in Japan at age 4, remained vivid enough to make appearances in his fictional works decades later.
Bishop briefly taught at UGA in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but left to pursue writing full-time.
Tayari Jones is the author of three novels including “Leaving Atlanta,” her critically acclaimed debut in which she explored the tragedy of the Atlanta child murders through the eyes of three children.
A graduate of Spelman College, Jones is a professor at Rutgers-Newark University. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times and Callaloo; her numerous awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2005 she was named a Lillian Smith Book Award winner for “The Untelling.”
Frances Newman was a novelist, translator, critic, book reviewer and librarian.
“Her modernist novels ‘The Hard-Boiled Virgin’ (1926) and ‘Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers’ (1928) stunned her native Atlanta with their satire of Southern culture and were banned in Boston for their allusions to sexuality,” according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Denounced by the influential Southern Agrarians because she unveiled the pervasive sexism and racism of the patriarchal South, Newman was excluded from the canon of Southern literature and has only recently been rediscovered. She planned several more novels before her death at the age of 45 in 1928.
Cynthia Shearer grew up in Alapaha, Georgia, and has written two novels, “The Wonder Book of the Air” and “The Celestial Jukebox.” Her work has appeared in such publications as the Oxford American, TriQuarterly, The Missouri Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her first novel was awarded the 1996 prize for fiction from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
Formerly a curator of William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford, Mississippi, she now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and teaches at Texas Christian University.