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Janis Owens is a novelist, memoirist, folklorist and premier storyteller. She is a native of West Florida, born in Marianna, the last child and only daughter of an Assembly of God preacher who later became a salesman for the Independent Life Insurance Company. As a child, her family lived briefly in Louisiana and Mississippi, and then returned to North Florida, to Marion County. She attended the University of Florida, where she was a student in Harry Crews’ Creative Writing Workshop. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Southern history, and is the award-winning author of four novels: MY BROTHER MICHAEL, winner of the Chautauqua South Fiction Award for Best Novel, MYRA SIMS, THE SCHOOLING OF CLAYBIRD CATTS. Her most recent novel is AMERICAN GHOST, which is a Florida Book Award silver medalist. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Writer’s Digest, and many other publications. Author Pat Conroy has called her, “one of the finest novelists of our time.”

Her only foray into nonfiction is THE CRACKER KITCHEN: A Cookbook in Celebration of Cornbread-Fed, Down-Home Family Stories and Cuisine. Part-cookbook, part-family memoir, CRACKER KITCHEN celebrates the backwoods resilience of a much maligned section of Southern culture: the hapless, toothless Cracker. Janis traces the roots of the word back to its origins and offers a refreshing anthropological exploration of this group of proud, fiercely independent Americans who have a deep love of their families, country, stories and food. Intertwined with their history is the history of her own beloved Cracker family: Grannie, Granddaddy, Uncles and Cousins-in-law, complete with pictures from her family album and many a hilarious family story. Between traveling and speaking on writing and Cracker culture, Janis lives on a small farm outside of Gainesville with her husband. She is working on her fifth novel, also set in North Florida.


Photography by Albert Isaac


Please visit Janis' website...

www. janisowens.com


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