Thursday, February 11, 2016

Alabama Book Covers (8): T.S. Stribling

As a writer of fiction, Thomas Sigismund Stribling led two lives. The Tennessee native wrote 16 novels, including a trio set in the Florence, Alabama, area, and spanning the antebellum era into the twentieth century. The second novel of those three, The Store, won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1933. Oddly, his second novel, Birthright, was turned into a silent movie in 1924 by pioneer black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Michieaux made a sound version in 1939. 

Before his first novel was published in 1917, Stribling wrote numerous "Sunday-school stories" for religious publications. He also began writing boys' adventure stories and later some science fiction and westerns and many detective short stories. He continued writing stories even as the novels appeared. A number of the detective stories featured Professor Henry Poggioli. 

Stribling was the first Alabama author to win a Pulitzer for literature; the only other one is Harper Lee. Stribling is said to have sold more books between the too World Wars than such giants as Hemingway and Faulkner. He died in Florence in 1965. The University of North Alabama Archives site has much information about his life and the manuscript materials they house.

Various covers of Stribling novels and collections and magazine issues with his stories can be seen below. 

T.S. Stribling [1881-1965]

 Lobby card for the 1939 film by Oscar Micheaux

Source: Getty 

This March 1927 issue contains a reprint of Stribling's story "The Green Splotches" first published in a 1920 issue of Adventure. A recent blog post has a lengthy discussion of the story.
Source: Wikipedia

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