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Home Daily Dose of History DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Ann Lane Petry - Writer

DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Ann Lane Petry – Writer

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Connecticut

Ann Lane was born October 12, 1908, in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. She was born to Peter Clark Lane, Jr., a pharmacist, and Bertha James, a podiatrist. Although she had always dreamed of being a writer, Lane followed in her father’s footsteps and worked as a pharmacist. She practiced in her family’s drug store.

Petry

In 1938, Lane married George Petry. The couple moved to Harlem, New York shortly thereafter, There, Petry embarked upon her writing career. In 1943, she landed a position as an editor, columnist, and reporter for People’s Voice. In order to hone her writing skills, she took writing courses at Columbia University. She also joined the American Negro Theatre in Harlem.

The Street

In 1946, Petry’s first novel, The Street, was published. The Street depicts neighborhood life in Harlem, tackling subjects, like the racism and sexism that Black women are forced to endure. Petry is known as the pioneer of womanist/feminist writing and is the first Black female writer to achieve the status of ‘bestseller.’
Ann Lane Petry, Black author, Black writer, Black novelist, Black short story writer, Black journalist, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History, We Buy Black, 4 The Culture app

Country Place

Petry won several literary awards for her first novel. Ill-prepared for the notoriety, she moved back to Old Saybrook. She wrote her second novel, Country Place, which was published a year after The Street. Her first two novels are widely considered pieces of the Illinois Renaissance (1935-1953). She would not write another novel until 1971.

That Hill Girl

During the 1950s and the 1960s, Petry wrote several short stories and children’s books. In 1958, she moved to Hollywood, California in order to work on a film script, titled That Hill Girl. In 1971, she wrote her third novel, The Narrows. She also published a collection of short stories, titled Miss Muriel and Other Stories.

Legacy

In 1972, Petry worked as a visiting professor at Miami University in Ohio. She held the same position at the University of Hawai’i in 1974. In 1983, she earned an honorary degree from Suffolk University. In 1988 and 1989, she received two more honorary degrees from the University of Connecticut and Mount Holyoke College. Ann Lane Petry died April 28, 1997, in her hometown of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. She was 88 years old.
Ann Lane Petry, Black author, Black writer, Black novelist, Black short story writer, Black journalist, Black History, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History, We Buy Black, 4 The Culture app
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer or We Buy Black. Thank you.**
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