Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It Is Written, My Life in Letters by Philip Lee Williams

It is Written: My Life In LettersIdgie Says:
This is not a review, but a shout out.  I have to admit that I am not a fan of the biography but I know that so many of the readers love them so I definitively want to let you know when an intriguing one hits the shelves.This is a nice hearty hardback book that you can sink your teeth into......and show off on your coffee table.


Mercer University Press
October, 2014

Book Description:
Filled with colorful details and rich with photographs of the author’s life, It Is Written is a beautifully written page-turner about how one person turns the raw materials of life into art.

Over a thirty-year career as a published author of fiction, poetry, and essays, Philip Lee Williams has become one of the South’s most-honored writers. From his first published novel in 1984 until now, he has been a steady presence in the literary world. In addition, he is an accomplished composer with more than eighteen full symphonies, an opera, and a requiem mass to his credit.

Now, Williams tells the story of his creative life in an open, jaunty, and often hilarious autobiography. The book starts with the story of a notorious party in New York City in 1991 and then backtracks to Williams’s early days living in the country outside Madison, Georgia, where his father was principal of Morgan County High School.

While the book has plenty on Williams’s youth in Madison, his days as a student at the University of Georgia, and his later years as a journalist, it focuses primarily on his career as a published writer, beginning with his first novel, The Heart of a Distant Forest. Along the way, it dishes inside information on Hollywood and the publishing business itself, and is filled with high good humor, bizarre detours, and a quiet sense of accomplishment as a major writer in the South.


Philip Lee Williams is the author of 18 books, including 12 novels, four works of non-fiction, and two volumes of poetry. His books have been published by such presses as W. W. Norton, Random House, Grove Press, Ballantine, Dell, Viking/Penguin, and Mercer University Press, as well a number of other smaller presses.

His latest novel, Emerson’s Brother, was published in 2012 by Mercer University Press. His most recent book of poetry is The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram, also from Mercer and published in 2010. His next book, It is Written: My Life in Letters, will be published in October 2014.
His books have been translated into Swedish, German, French, and Japanese and have appeared in large-print editions as well. A number of his books have been optioned for film by such people as producer Richard Zanuck, director Ron Howard, and actress Meg Ryan. He was hired by MGM to write the screenplay of his own book, All the Western Stars, though the movie has not yet been made.
Two of Williams’s unpublished manuscripts have also been optioned by producers in Hollywood.
Williams has also published poetry in more than 40 magazines, including Poetry, Press, the Cumberland Poetry Review and many others. He has published essays and short stories, and one story, “An Early Snow,” published in 2000, was nominated by The Chattahoochee Review for a Pushcart Prize.

In addition, he is a prize-winning documentary film writer and producer. Three of his films have been shown multiple times on Georgia Public Television, and he has won awards for them the New York Film Festival, the Columbus (Ohio) Film Festival, and from the Telly Awards. He is a winner of the Townsend Prize for Fiction for his first novel, The Heart of a Distant Forest, and in 1991 was named Georgia Author of the Year for Fiction. He has since then been named Georgia Author of the Year three more times.

In a journalistic career for Georgia newspapers, he published more than a thousand feature stories and some 500 personal columns. After coming to the University of Georgia in 1985 as a science writer, he won numerous awards for his work, and is the only writer to have won the top feature writing award two years in a row for the Southeastern United States from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

The University of Georgia has listed Philip as one of its “notable graduates,” and he is the only one on that list who ever worked for UGA itself. He was a member of the Graduate Faculty at UGA and was an assistant dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences before retiring in February 2012.
His work has been included in several anthologies, and in 2001 he was named to Who’s Who in America for his literary accomplishments.

He and his wife, Linda, live in a house in the woods on a stream in north central Georgia.