Anne Rivers Siddons was born in Atlanta and grew up in the nearby town of Fairburn, Ga. She attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), where she majored in illustration and earned a BAA (Bachelor of Applied Arts) in 1958. While at API, Siddons was on the staff of the student newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman. After graduation, Siddons returned to Atlanta and took classes at the Atlanta School of Art. In 1959, she began working for the advertising department of Retail Credit Corp., doing design and layout. In 1961, she moved to Citizens & Southern National Bank, adding copywriting to her design and layout work. From 1963 to 1967, Siddons worked as a writer and editor for Atlanta magazine. She returned to the advertising business in 1967, working first for Burke-Dowling Adams, then for Burton Campbell Advertising.
In 1974, Siddons left Burton Campbell and signed a book contract with Doubleday. Her first book, John Chancellor Makes Me Cry, was a collection of essays, most of which had previously been published in magazines such as Atlanta and Georgia. Except for a travel guide to Atlanta, all of her subsequent books have been novels. Her first novel, Heartbreak Hotel, was made into the movie Heart of Dixie, which was released in 1989. The House Next Door, a horror novel, was made into a Lifetime television movie which aired in 2006. In 1998, Siddons and her husband moved from Atlanta to Charleston, S.C. They divide their time between Charleston and their summer home in Brooklin, Maine.
The novels of Anne Rivers Siddons feature modern Southern women coping with crises, many rooted in family issues from the past. Heartbreak Hotel is partly based on her experiences at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University).
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Photo by Jerry Bauer; courtesy of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University.
Last updated on Oct 16, 2009.