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Southern LiterBEARy Portraits
Willie Morris

Protrait by students of Ms. Tammy Mauney's class
Booneville Middle School, MS

Picture from Mississippi writers page

William Weaks Morris was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1934, but then when he was only six months old his parents moved to Yazoo, Mississippi. All of his family members were storytellers and he grew up to have the conscious tradition of passing stories from one generation to the next.

After he graduated from high school as valedictorian of 1952, he left Mississippi and went to University of Texas in Austin.

Later in 1967, he got North Toward Home published. Not only was it a best seller but also received the prestigious Houghton Mifflin Liberty Fellowship Award for nonfiction as well as several other honors. His subsequent books include a classic Good Old Boy, a celebration of Willie's youth complete with boyish misadventures. Also the selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, Last of the Southern Girls.

In 1980 Willie returned to Mississippi and in 1983 wrote The Courting of Marcus Dupree. Later in 1989 he wrote this genre, Homecomings. Then in 1994 he wrote A Prayer for the Opening of the Little League Season. The next year he wrote My Dog Skip. Later in 2000 My Dog Skip became a movie. He also was a consultant on the 1996 Rob Reiner motion picture Ghosts of Mississippi.

Willie Weaks Morris died August 2, 1999, after a heart attack in Jackson, Mississippi. He was 64.