This Goodly Land

Vicki Covington (October 22, 1952–present)

Other Names Used

Alabama Connections

Selected Works

Literary Awards

Biographical Information

Vicki Covington was born and raised in Birmingham, Ala. She began keeping a journal at age eight and continued for many years. In her youth, Covington began a lifelong struggle with asthma, panic disorder, and substance abuse. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in sociology in 1974 and an MSW in 1976, then worked briefly at a Birmingham mental health center. She married author Dennis Covington in 1977. While the couple was living in Wooster, Ohio, she began writing short stories to deal with her loneliness and homesickness. In 1978, the Covingtons moved back to Birmingham, where Vicki worked in a drug-rehabilitation program.

In the early 1980s, Vicki Covington sold several of her short stories to literary magazines. In 1986, The New Yorker magazine bought two stories. Her first novel, Gathering Home, was published in 1988, and she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts which enabled her to stop working to write full-time. She published three novels in the 1990s. In 1999, the Covingtons published Cleaving, a memoir of their marriage. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Vicki dealt with health problems, both her own and those of family members. A collection of her columns written for The Birmingham News was published in 2002.

Interests and Themes

Vicki Covington writes short stories, novels, and nonfiction, including memoir. Her fiction is characterized by themes of family and community and is usually set in Alabama. Her nonfiction is personal and highly candid.

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Photo by Rowland Scherman; courtesy of Simon and Schuster.

Last updated on May 30, 2008.

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