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Women's History
Olive Ann Burns



Olive Ann Burns
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.02

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    a-mighty, editorship, columnist, relapse, remarriage, journalism, pseudonym, freelance, publication, manuscript, largely, chemotherapy, gosh, writing, literary, incentive
     content words:    Olive Ann Burns, Cold Sassy Tree, Sassy Tree, Ann Burns, Banks County, Ruby Burns, Great Depression, Mercer University, North Carolina, Atlanta Journal


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Olive Ann Burns
By Jamie Kee
  

1     Olive Ann Burns spent most of her life writing. During her adult years, she was a professional writer, journalist, and columnist. She only published one book during her lifetime, Cold Sassy Tree, a novel describing a young boy's coming-of-age and life in the rural South during the turn of the century. Cold Sassy Tree has been extraordinarily successful since its 1984 publication, selling over one million copies worldwide.
 
2     Olive Ann Burns was born on July 17, 1924, in Banks County, Georgia, to parents William and Ruby Burns. She was the youngest of four children. She and her family lived on the land that was originally farmed by her great-great-grandfather. Burns's father did all he could to support his family through farming, but eventually it was a financial ruin, made worse by the Great Depression. By 1931 the family could no longer afford to live on the farm, so Burns's father had to rent out the farm. The family moved to Commerce, Georgia, with Burns's grandmother.
 
3     Writing became a special interest to Burns when she got to high school in Macon and was encouraged by her ninth grade teacher. She began working for the school newspaper during her high school years. After graduation, Burns entered Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. As in high school, she began working for the university literary magazine. After two years of college, Burns transferred to the University of North Carolina. In 1946 Burns graduated with a degree in journalism.

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