Dec 24, 2019

By Andy Johnson

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She was compared with writers like William Faulkner and while she set many of her novels and short stories in the southern US, her travels led her to Canada and Italy where some of her best works were set.

Author Elizabeth Spencer has died at the age of 98.

Much of her literary trove was set in small towns in Mississippi but her best known work “The Light in the Piazza” was set in Italy. It was adapted for stage and screen. The 1962 film starred Olivia de Havilland.

While living in Montreal in the early 60’s she wrote novels like “Knights and Dragons,’ “No Place for an Angel” and a collection of short stories entitled “Ship Island and Other Stories.”

Her work examined racism, subtle class distinctions and a universe of prejudices that bound its protagonists to loveless marriages, drunken spouses, bigoted families and oppressive customs.

She taught at Montreal’s Concordia University from 1976 to 1986 and at the University of Montreal from 1986 to 1992

Elizabeth Spencer died at her home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was 98.

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