Tina McElroy Ansa
Tina McElroy Ansa is a novelist, publisher, filmmaker, teacher and journalist. But above all, she is a storyteller. She calls herself “part of a long and honored writing tradition, one of those little Southern girls who always knew she wanted to be a writer.” She grew up in Middle Georgia in the 1950s hearing her grandfather’s stories on the porch of her family home and strangers’ stories downtown in her father’s juke joint, which have inspired Mulberry, Georgia, the mythical world of her four novels, Baby of the Family, Ugly Ways, The Hand I Fan With, You Know Better and Taking After Mudear.
She and her husband, Joneé Ansa, have lived on St. Simons Island, Georgia since 1984. Together they produced and directed the 1989 Georgia Sea Island Festival, a 30-year-old grassroots festival that seeks to preserve the crafts, music, slave chants, games, food and spirit of the African-American people who lived and worked as slaves on the rice and cotton plantations along the Georgia coast. Ms. Ansa is an avid birder, amateur naturalist, and gardener. She always has collard greens growing in her garden among the black-eyed Susans and moonflowers.