Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Pearl McHaney

Second Advisor

John Holman

Third Advisor

Randy Malamud


Four Georgia women authors focus on different but equally important components of life: the natural environment of Janisse Ray, relationships in Mary Hood, culture in Tina McElroy Ansa, and sociological history in Melissa Fay Greene. While the focus of the writings by these authors overlap, their various approaches examined together reveal the essential areas where contemporary society has lost its way. All four argue how not to live by pointing out examples of negative actions and the consequences of human carelessness. Through compelling stories, these four authors show us how to preserve and improve our environment, our relationships, our culture, and our history. Ansa, Greene, Hood, and Ray are all from Georgia and write about both Georgia and the world from the perspective of contemporary Georgia. However, these four authors do not defend or deny the atrocities of the South but rather attempt to make reparations through better ideas, improved behavior, and a portrayal of southern places and people that acknowledges the wrongs of present and past and brings healing and growth to humans and to the environment. What unites all four authors is their dual purpose and more importantly a dual positive effect. Readers are entertained, but they are also motivated to act more consciously in their own relationships and in their environments. All four authors promote the theme of nurture and care, often by revealing real people or characters who are careless or who fail to nurture.