Virginia Esther Hamilton

Among the many awards she received during her lifetime, including every major award for youth literature, author Virginia Esther Hamilton (1934–2000—some sources say born in 1936) won an Edgar Allen Poe Award for her children’s mystery story, The House of Dies Drear (her second published book), which centers around an old Underground Railroad station. During her lifetime, she wrote forty-one books in genres that include picture books, folktales, mysteries, science fiction, novels, and biographies. After earning a degree in literature and creative writing from Ohio State University, she moved to New York City, where she worked in a variety of positions while she pursued her dream of becoming a published writer. During this time, she also studied fiction writing at the New School for Social Research and married poet Arnold Adoff. She described her writing as "Liberation Literature," weaving into her stories her concern with memory, tradition, and generational legacy, preserving black oral tradition.

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