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Olive Burns.  Born in Banks County, Georgia on July17, 1924  Youngest of four children  Grew up in Commerce, which is the setting for Cold Sassy Tree.

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Presentation on theme: "Olive Burns.  Born in Banks County, Georgia on July17, 1924  Youngest of four children  Grew up in Commerce, which is the setting for Cold Sassy Tree."— Presentation transcript:

1 Olive Burns

2  Born in Banks County, Georgia on July17, 1924  Youngest of four children  Grew up in Commerce, which is the setting for Cold Sassy Tree  She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina in 1946

3  Writer for the Journal and Constitution Magazine  There she met fellow journalist Andrew Sparks  Married him in 1956  They had two children together, a daughter and a son

4  Her preparations for the writing of the novel actually began when her mother was diagnosed with cancer in  This diagnosis prompted Burns to begin a family history  After her mother died in 1972, Burns relied on her father's recollections to help her write the history.  One of his favorite family stories was about Grandpa Power, a practical man who remarried three weeks after the death of his first wife, in part because he needed a housekeeper.  Although Burns thought that the story of Grandpa Power's quick marriage and its scandalous impact in a small town like Commerce would make an excellent premise for a book, she had never anticipated writing a novel until her own cancer diagnosis.

5  Burns worked on Cold Sassy Tree for eight-and-a-half years.  Drawing from her family history, she continued to gather material about people and events at the turn of the century from relatives and friends, books, and newspapers.  She transformed their vivid memories into the coming-of- age story of Will Tweedy, the novel's main character and narrator, and his life in fictional Cold Sassy, Georgia, in  The fourteen-year-old Tweedy was inspired by Burns's father; his "adolescent" counterpart, the newly married Grandpa Blakeslee, was a reincarnated Grandpa Power.  Inhabited by irreverent characters, the idyllic town of Cold Sassy provides the setting for a poignant and funny story about southern life at the turn of the century.

6  Will Tweedy – ◦ 14 years old ◦ Lives in Cold Sassy, Georgia at the beginning of the 20 th century ◦ Though he comes from a conventional family, he is a free-spirit who is compelled to defy the rules governing his life. ◦ Throughout the novel, Will grapples with the issues of love and death

7  Rucker Blakeslee ◦ Will’s maternal grandfather. ◦ Rucker is a brash, humorous, and domineering man who owns the general store in Cold Sassy. ◦ Rucker is passionately Southern, but he has no use for the gossip and hypocrisy of Cold Sassy’s small- town ways, and he acts according to his own code of decent conduct, not the town’s.

8  Miss Love Simpson ◦ A pretty, affectionate, and strong-willed woman. ◦ Miss Love has succeeded despite a troubled childhood. ◦ In addition to charm and a sense of humor, she possesses a business acumen that wins her an important role in running Rucker’s store. ◦ She lives her life cheerfully and bravely, ignoring or defying the expectations of the close-minded and suspicious inhabitants of Cold Sassy.

9  Mattie Lou Blakeslee ◦ Will’s grandmother and Rucker’s first wife. ◦ Mattie Lou dies three weeks before the novel begins. ◦ Mattie Lou was an excellent gardener and a devoted caretaker for the sick. ◦ The people of Cold Sassy speak reverently of her, and Rucker never forgets her companionship and goodwill.

10  Hoyt Tweedy ◦ Will’s father. ◦ Hoyt is a stern, pious man who loves his family and has a weak spot for modern technology. ◦ Although Hoyt is Rucker’s son-in-law and a devoted employee, he proves himself capable of standing up to his boss and defending his wife, Mary Willis, when the occasion calls for it.

11  Mary Willis ◦ Mattie Lou and Rucker’s older daughter. ◦ Mary Willis is conventional and nervous, but kind. ◦ The death of her mother deeply affects Mary Willis. ◦ She mourns for a long time and finds it difficult to forgive her father for remarrying so quickly, which she sees as a betrayal of her mother’s memory.

12  Loma Williams ◦ Mary Willis’s younger sister. ◦ A few years older than her nephew, Will, Loma is a bossy, jealous, and often petulant young woman. ◦ She dreams of being a writer or an actress and chafes against her dead-end marriage to the useless Campbell Williams.

13  Lightfoot McLendon ◦ A pretty and studious young girl from the impoverished Mill Town. ◦ Lightfoot is the object of Will’s affections. ◦ Although she marries Hosie Roach, Lightfoot feels affection for Will and parts from him with difficulty.

14  Campbell Williams ◦ Loma’s husband. ◦ Campbell, called Camp, fails at home and at work. ◦ He wants to please but finds himself hampered by his own incompetence. ◦ Loma and Rucker criticize him constantly and drive him to despair.

15  Hosie Roach ◦ A twenty-one-year-old boy from Mill Town who attends Will’s school despite his advanced age. ◦ Although Will considers Hosie his enemy, Hosie shows great promise and the townspeople of Cold Sassy see big things in his future.

16  Loomis ◦ A black man in Cold Sassy. ◦ Loomis is an employee at the general store and the husband of the Tweedys’ cook, Queenie. ◦ Loomis is a kind and loving man and an excellent preacher.

17  Miss Effie Belle Tate ◦ Rucker’s next-door neighbor. ◦ Miss Effie Belle Tate loves snooping and gossiping. ◦ She embodies the narrow-mindedness, spite, and rumor-mongering that characterize Cold Sassy.

18  Clayton McAllister ◦ A brash, charming, and wealthy rancher from Texas. ◦ Clayton’s shabby treatment of Miss Love makes her fear love and marriage.

19  Aunt Carrie ◦ An eccentric woman called “aunt” because of her friendship with the Tweedy family. ◦ Aunt Carrie’s odd mannerisms and theories make her the object of ridicule, but in fact she is a woman of education and poise.

20  Campbell Junior ◦ The baby son of Loma and Camp Williams. ◦ Campbell Junior is remarkable because of his plumpness.

21  Queenie ◦ The Tweedys’ cook and Loomis’s wife. ◦ Queenie seems a jovial figure, but in fact she suffers because of the prejudices of white Southerners.

22  T.R. ◦ Will’s dog, named after Theodore Roosevelt.

23  Mary Toy Tweedy ◦ Will’s younger sister.

24  Bluford Jackson ◦ Will’s deceased friend. ◦ Bluford makes a ghostly appearance early in the novel.


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