Viola Goode Liddell was born and grew up in Gastonburg, Ala. She was the eighth of nine children in a well-to-do family. Liddell finished high school at age sixteen and enrolled in Judson College. She graduated in 1922 and married shortly thereafter. Liddell's oldest son, Oxford Stroud, was born during this marriage. The family lived in Albequerque, N.M., for several years. The marriage ended in divorce, however, and in 1931, Liddell and her son moved to Linden, Ala., where she taught French at the high school. In the fall of 1933, they moved to Camden, Ala., where Liddell’s sister lived. Liddell obtained another teaching position but resigned at the end of the school year to remarry.
After her second marriage, Liddell began writing and publishing short pieces in magazines such as Holland’s Magazine, The Georgia Review, the Southern Literary Messenger, and The Saturday Evening Post. Her first book, With a Southern Accent, a memoir of her childhood in Gastonburg, was published in 1948. In 1979, she published a book about her adopted home of Camden, A Place of Springs. Grass Widow, an account of her coming to Camden and her courtship by her second husband, was published posthumously.
Viola Goode Liddell’s autobiographical books describe life in the Black Belt of Alabama in the first half of the twentieth century.
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Photo courtesy of The University of Alabama Press.
Last updated on Nov 07, 2009.