Arts Literature

Book Feature: Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two

Book Feature: Miss Julia Knows a Thing or TwoAnn B. Ross, Author

Hendersonville’s Ann B. Ross has just had her twenty-first Miss Julia book—Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two—published. The beloved series follows the adventures—and misadventures—of an elderly heroine in fictional Abbotsville, NC. “I did not set out to write a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story, when I wrote the first book, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind,” Ross says. “It was only after its publication that I realized, unorthodox though it was, I had. Miss Julia, at an advanced age, suddenly grows up, finds her voice and begins to stand up for herself in that book, and continues to learn more in succeeding books.”

Fans of the books tell Ross that they identify with Miss Julia’s coming into her own, and many are reminded of an aunt or a neighbor. “Most of all, they seem to like her because she says what she thinks, but more importantly what the reader thinks, but doesn’t, or can’t, say,” Ross says.

Ross says she never imagined in 2000, when the first book came out, that she would still be writing about its title character two decades later. “In fact, I thought that Miss Julia had said all she had to say in that book,” Ross says, “so when my first editor not only bought it, but contracted for three more Miss Julia books, I was mortally afraid I wouldn’t be able to produce them. But once that woman started talking, she kept on and she hasn’t stopped yet.”

Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two, April, 2020, fiction, $27, by Ann B. Ross, and published by Penguin Random House, New York, NY. To learn more, visit MissJulia.com.

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