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Jessamyn West
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    (July 18, 1902-February 23, 1984)
    Born in Vernon, Indiana
    Birth name was Mary Jessamyn West
    Novelist and short story writer
    Best known for the anthology 'Friendly Persuasion' (1945)
    Second cousin of Richard Nixon
    When she ran into difficulties adopting two Irish girls, she contacted her cousin (who happened to be Vice President at the time) to cut through the red tape.
    She helped her sister Clara commit suicide after Clara developed cancer of the bowel.
    None of her later works was as successful as her first published book, 'Friendly Persuasion.'
    She said, 'I seem to fall between two stools. Those who like my stories about Quakers feel I should not write on other subjects and those who like my other stories tell me they are disinterested in stories about Quakers.'
    She was left handed.
    She was married to Harry McPherson for over fifty years.
    She began writing while recuperating from tuberculosis that was so severe a sanitarium had discharged her so she could die at home.
    Much of her writing was inspired by her mother's childhood memories of growing up as a Quaker farm girl in southern Indiana.
    She said, 'Talent's helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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