Janisse Ray

Janisse Ray grew up in a junkyard along U.S. Highway 1 near Baxley, Ga. She is the author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, which won the American Book Award and other honors. Since Ecology she has published five books.

The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food came out from Chelsea Green Publishing in 2012. Most of her work is literary nonfiction and deals with the human relationship to nature.

She earned an MFA from the University of Montana and holds two honorary doctorates, one from LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA and one from Unity College in Unity, ME. In 2016 she was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and in 2019 won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Writers Association.

She lives on an organic farm in Georgia.

She writes poetry (A House of Branches) and fiction in addition to creative nonfiction.

About the Book

In the fall of 1945, eight children, brothers and sisters ranging in age from three months to ten years, vanished from a rented bungalow in Morganton, Georgia. They were taken by mule and wagon to a remote shack in the Blue Ridge foothills of Fannin County, near the North Carolina line. For the next four years they would live mostly alone, without mother or father, roaming the mountains and valleys of what had been Cherokee Territory, scouring for food and scrambling to take care of themselves and each other.