Born in Georgia, Terry Kay, who has won domestic and international fans in a novel set in the south, has passed away. He was 82 years old.
His death on Saturday was announced on his Facebook page. According to a post on the page on October 25, Kay was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. His daughter, Heather Kay Fleury, confirmed the news to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She didn’t immediately respond to a Facebook message asking for comment on her father’s death.
Kay was born on February 10, 1938 in Hart County, Georgia, as one of twelve children. After graduating from LaGrange College, he began his journalism career at the weekly Decatur-DeKalb News. He later worked for the Atlanta Journal as a sports writer, film and theater critic.
Kay, perhaps best known in the 1990 novel “Dancing with the White Dog,” helped establish himself as one of the leading writers in the South. According to Kay’s website, the book was inspired by the author’s parents. It is a story of a octet player and a mysterious white dog living together after his wife’s death. The book received the Kay the Outstanding Author of the Year Award from the Southeastern Library Association in 1991. In 1993, it was screened as the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on CBS TV and sold 2 million copies in Japan.
Kay’s first novel, published in 1976, was a “light-filled year” inspired by the memories of electricity arriving in Kay’s rural countryside. Published in 2003, “The Valley of Light” won both the 2004 Townsend Award and the Georgia Writers Association’s Best Fiction Award.
He was also awarded the Georgia Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and was inducted into the Georgian Writers Hall of Fame in 2006.
According to Kay’s website, translations of the author’s fiction are published in Japan, South Korea, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and more.
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Terry Kay, author of Bohemian Wedding Waltz, dies
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