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Who is Barbara Neely? (Novelist) Barbara Neely Bio, Age, height, Family, Death, Books, Awards, Husband and Net Worth

Barbara Neely Biography

Barbara Neely was a highly acclaimed African-American novelist, short story writer, and activist who wrote murder mysteries. She sadly passed away at 78 on the 9th of March 2020.

Her first novel, Blanche on the Lam, introduced the protagonist Blanche White, a middle-aged mother, domestic worker, and amateur detective. The Mystery Writers of America named her their 2020 Grand Master winner.

Barbara Neely Age

Barbara was born back in the year 1941 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. he sadly passed away on the 9th of March 2020 at the age of 78.

Barbara Neely Height

Information on her height is currently unavailable at the moment. This information will be updated soon.

Barbara Neely Family and Education

Barbara was the oldest of three children born to Ann and Bernard Neely who lived in a rural Pennsylvania Dutch community in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Coming to her educational background, She attended a Roman Catholic elementary school and was the only child in her class of Pennsylvania German dialect students to speak English fluently and was the only student of African American descent to attend her elementary and high school. In 1971, she moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she was awarded a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh.

Barbara Neely Career

After earning her degree, she became thoroughly involved in local activism and created a community-based housing program for female felons in an area of Pittsburgh called Shady Side. The program was developed through her position with Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections and was the state’s first community based correctional center for women.

During a trip to San Francisco in 1978, Neely witnessed a woman dancing in front of a band which she says inspired her to take her work in activism even farther. Neely stated, “she [the dancing woman] started pointing to people, and when she turned and pointed to me, it seemed to me that she was saying, ‘Do it today, because today is all you have.’”

Soon after, Neely had her first piece of fiction, a short story called “Passing the Word”, published in Essence magazine. Neely moved to North Carolina and began writing for Southern Exposure as well as producing various shows for the African News Service.

Her involvement in activism continued with becoming director of a YWCA branch, Family Services Coordinator for ABCD Head Start, executive director of Women for Economic Justice, co-founder of Women of Color for Reproductive Freedom, and host of “Commonwealth Journal” on Boston Radio. She was also part of an evaluative research team at the Institute for Social Research.

Neely published her first short story, “Passing the Word” (1981) in the magazine Essence. Her Blanche White novels followed a decade later beginning with Blanche on the Lam[ (1992), followed by Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (1994), Blanche Cleans Up (1998), and Blanche Passes Go (2000).

Most notable about Barbara Neely’s heroine Blanche is both her physical appearance as well as her occupation; she is a heavy-set, dark-skinned Black woman who works as a maid. Blanche is proud of her work and does not let it get in the way of her independence and proud personality. This immediately sets her apart from the typical protagonist.

Barbara Neely Facts and Body Measurements

  • Full Name: Barbara Neely
  • Age/ How Old?: Deceased at 78
  • Date of Birth: 1941
  • Place of Birth: Lebanon, Pennsylvania
  • Education‎: University of Pittsburgh
  • Birthday: Not Available
  • Nationality: African-American
  • Father’s Name: Not Available
  • Mother’s Name: Not Available
  • Siblings: Not Available
  • Married?: Not Available
  • Children/ Kids: Not Available
  • Height/ How tall?: Not Available
  • Weight: Not Available
  • Profession: Author and Novelist
  • Net worth: Not Available

Barbara Neely Husband

Neely likes to keep his personal life private hence information about her dating life is not available. It is therefore not known whether he is married or has any children. However, this information will be updated as soon as it is available.

Barbara Neely Net Worth

She has not revealed her net worth. She is a simple person and never likes to attract public attention by publicly displaying her wealth. However, this section is under review, we will update you when details about her net worth are revealed.

Barbara Neely Death

Award-winning mystery writer Barbara Neely, who created the first black female series sleuth in mainstream American publishing, died last week after a brief illness, according to her publisher, Brash Books. She was 78.

Neely is perhaps best known for her four-book Blanche White series, which had at its center a nomadic amateur detective and domestic worker who uses the invisibility inherent to her job as an advantage in pursuit of the truth.

Barbara Neely Books

  • Passing the Word,” in Essence (1981)
  • “Rosie and Me,” in The Things that Divide Us (1985)
  • “Spilled Salt,” in Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction (1990)
  • “The Dog Who Remembered Too Much,” in Tar Heel Dead: Tales of Mystery and Mayhem from North Carolina (2005)

Blanche White Novels

  • Blanche on the Lam (1992)
  • Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (1994)
  • Blanche Cleans Up (1998)
  • Blanche Passes Go (2000)

Barbara Neely The Blanche White Series

The Blanche White series includes 1992’s “Blanche on the Lam,” 1994’s “Blanche Among the Talented Tenth,” 1998’s “Blanche Cleans Up” and 2000’s “Blanche Passes Go.” They push past mystery into political and social commentary, like tackling violence against women, racism, class boundaries and sexism. “If Toni Morrison wrote murder mysteries, they would probably read a bit like Barbara Neely’s,” the women’s general-interest website Bustle said in 2015.

“Blanche on the Lam” won the Agatha Award, Anthony Award, and the Macavity Award for the best first novel, as well as the Go on Girl! Award from Black Women’s Reading Club. Her series has been translated into several languages including French, Czech, German and Japanese. She was included in 2012’s “100 American Crime Writers” by Steven Powell.

Barbara Neely Awards

For Blanche on the Lam, Neely received an Agatha Award for best first novel (1992); an Anthony Award for first best novel (1993); the Go on Girl! Award from the Black Women’s Reading Club for the best début novel; and a Macavity Award for first best mystery novel (1993).

Neely also won two awards for her activism. They include “Community Works Social Action Award for Leadership and Activism for Women’s Rights and Economic Justice” and “Fighting for Women’s Voices Award” from the Coalition for Basic Human Needs. In December 2019, the Mystery Writers of America named her their 2020 Grand Master winner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Barbara Neely

Who is Barbara Neely? 

Barbara Neely was a highly acclaimed African-American novelist, short story writer, and activist who wrote murder mysteries. She sadly passed away at 78 on the 9th of March 2020.

How old is Barbara Neely?

Barbara was born back in the year 1941 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. he sadly passed away on the 9th of March 2020 at the age of 78.

How tall is Barbara Neely? 

Information on her height is currently unavailable at the moment. This information will be updated soon.

Is Barbara Neely married? 

Neely likes to keep his personal life private hence information about her dating life is not available. It is therefore not known whether he is married or has any children. However, this information will be updated as soon as it is available.

How much is Barbara Neely worth?

She has not yet revealed her net worth. We will update this section when we get and verify information about the wealth and properties under her name.

Where does Barbara Neely live?

Because of security reasons, She has not shared his precise location of residence. We will immediately update this information if we get the location and images of her house.

Is Barbara Neely dead or alive? 

She passed away on the 9th of March 2020.

Barbara Neely Twitter

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