“A Woman Who Writes Is Born to Trouble”

Catherine Oglesby

in Corra Harris and the Divided Mind of the New South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032474
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038728 | DOI:
“A Woman Who Writes Is Born to Trouble”

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This chapter discusses Corra Harris's reflections on the difficulties of a writing career. In a letter written by George Lorimer to Corra Harris, he advised Harris to teach her daughter, who was starting her writing career, that a woman who writes is born with trouble. Embarking on a writing career during the earlier part of her career was hard work, specifically for women who were designated and limited within the confines of traditional domestic roles. Harris's life as a writer was filled with plenty of trouble but was balanced with satisfaction and reward. At the prime of her writing career, Harris afforded the liberty to be eccentric, and to indulge her naturally insular temperament. Writing became her life's work not by choice but by necessity as she claimed. To her, the pen became her tool for deliverance. At times she viewed fame and success as providential and writing as an outlet for creativity, but at other times she viewed writings as an inescapable burden. This chapter discusses the struggles faced by Harris during the earliest years of her writing career wherein she juggled her career as a writer and her obligations as a wife and a mother. The chapter also discusses the prevailing social undertones in her literature wherein she was frequently noted for her disdain of realism, especially on references to sex, graphic portrayals of the working conditions in factories, and hardships of life in general. The chapter also discusses her inevitable need for constant praise and feedback from her editors with whom she forged a complex relationship.

Keywords: Corra Harris; difficulties; writing career; writer; editors; writing; women

Chapter.  10361 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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