The Founding Director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University, in McCullers's hometown of Columbus, Georgia, and the Founding President of the Carson McCullers Society, a scholarly organization dedicated to the study of McCullers's life and work, Dr. Carlos L. Dews is the editor of Carson McCullers's posthumously published autobiography, Illumination and Night Glare (University of Wisconsin Press, 1999) and the editor of The Complete Novels of Carson McCullers (Library of America, 2001). Dews has also written numerous articles and encyclopedia entries about McCullers's life and work. Dews was a professor English at the University of West Florida from 1994 to 2003 and chairperson of the Department of English and Foreign Languages at the University of West Florida from 2001 to 2003. In addition to his work on Carson McCullers, Dews also edited two volumes of essays with Carolyn Leste Law, Out in the South (2001) and This Fine Place So Far From Home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class (1995) both published by Temple University Press. Born and reared in East Texas, Dews studied at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Minnesota. Dews is currently at work on a book about Carson McCullers's friendship with Tennessee Williams.
Born to a pioneer family in West Palm Beach, Florida on July 21, 1929, Virginia knew from the age of 12 that she wanted to someday be a writer. Carr is the recipient of a number of awards as an instructor at Columbus State University, in Columbus, Georgia including the Outstanding Teacher Award, followed by an appointment as a senior Fulbright professor in Poland in 1980-81. In 1985 Virginia moved to Georgia State University in Atlanta to chair the Department in English. In 1993 she was named the John B. and Elena Diaz Verson Amos Distinguished Professor in English Letters, a position she held until her retirement from Georgia State in September of 2003. In November 2004, Virginia will receive the prestigious John Hurt Fisher Award, presented annually by the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Virginia also is the recipient of a Melon Fellowship, awarded by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas, Austin, and a Stanley J. Kahrl Fellowship awarded by Harvard University.
Her biography of Carson McCullers, The Lonely Hunter, published in 1975 with an introduction by Tennessee Williams, was republished in 2003 by the University of Georgia Press; her biography of John Dos Passos, Dos Passos: A Life, published in 1984, will be republished in the fall of 2004 by Northwestern University, with a new introduction by Donald Pizer; and her latest biography, Paul Bowles: A Life, will be published in October of 2004. Virginia has also published Understanding Carson McCullers and books on Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas."
She is already at work on Radiance: A Biography of Eudora Welty, Welty having died in 2001 at the age of 92 in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. Virginia has also returned to her work on a biography of Tennessee Williams, which she expects to complete in 2007.