Award-winning author drew on own experiences

Mary Lee Settle, novelist and founder of the Pen/Faulkner award for fiction, has died from lung cancer. She was 87.

Settle died on Tuesday at her home in Ivy, said Jessica Neely, executive director of the Washington, DC-based Pen/Faulkner award. Settle founded the annual award in 1981 to honour the best work of fiction by an American author.

While Settle won the National Book award in 1978 for Blood Tie, a novel about Europeans and American expatriates living in Turkey, she was perhaps best known for The Beulah Quintet.
The five-book series traces a family’s history from 17th-century England to West Virginia in the 1980s.

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Settle said she drew on her experiences living in West Virginia and Kentucky coal towns for her work.

Settle’s first novel, The Lover Eaters, was published in 1954.

She wrote more than a dozen books, several plays and children’s books.—Sapa-AP

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