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BAXLEY: CAROLINE MILLER

Caroline Miller Portrait"Don't let people tell you there is no drama in your life, or that your surroundings are too colorless for novel material. If you can't find the novel in someone else's life, look into your own. Perhaps you don't have any Georgia pines to write about, but there is something else quite as lovely in your life. I am certain of that. There never was another you. Write the way you feel it."

The youngest of seven children, Caroline Eileen Pafford was born on August 26, 1903 in Waycross, Georgia. She graduated from Waycross High School and would later marry her English teacher, William Dews Miller. The couple moved to the small town of Baxley, in the pastoral farmland and pines of Appling County, Georgia, where they raised three sons.

Caroline found her home life to be an adjustment and often seemed torn between caring for house and home and her desire to write. She had published a short story and wanted to continue writing. Her daily life was busy and she herself said that she was "overwhelmed by the pressure."

Caroline had been inspired by the pioneer women in her family and the community stories she heard. She would drive out into the countryside with her three sons, talking with the older residenst and listening to their stories of the past. She would then often head to Barnes Drugstore in Baxley and write down the stories she had heard while sipping on a Coca-Cola. She incorporated the stories, the speech, the dialects and the intents into her book Lamb in His Bosom.

In 1934, Lamb In His Bosom made its way from the tall pines of Georgia to the world. Though her first novel, it would be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. It was the first work by a Georgian to win the acclaim. Lamb in His Bosom also won the French Prix Femina Award for American Literature the same year. Naturally, her life changed significantly. She received an honorary Degree of Letters from Oglethorpe University in 1935. Travel became part of her life and she often spoke to various organizations.

She and her husband divorced in 1937. She then married Clyde Hosea Ray, Jr. and moved to Waynesville, North Carolina. Caroline and Clyde had a son and a daughter. Caroline continued to write and had a few short stories published as well as the novel Lebanon in 1944. Clyde Ray, Jr. died in 1976. Caroline moved to a home where she had a quiet, serene existence. She continued to write. She died in 1992 at the age of 88, leaving several unpublished manuscripts.

Caroline Miller was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in April of 2007.

  Storytilling on the Porch   Caroline Miller House  
  Storytilling on the Porch   Caroline Miller House  


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