Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Marjorie Hudson  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction History Non-Fiction

Born: 1953 in Woodstock, Illinois



Illinois Connection

I was born and raised in small towns in northwest Illinois, including McHenry and Oregon, county seat of Oogle County.

Biographical and Professional Information

My father was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and my mother in Belleville. Dad was a small town Methodist minister in Illinois towns, and I remember living in parsonages next to churches. I loved the parsonages we lived in and the small towns haunted me when we moved to Washington, D.C. on my eighth birthday. Small town Illinois is an essential root that I return to. When I discovered Pittsboro, NC, my home for 30 years in the South, I recognized it--it was a county seat town with a courthouse surrounded by antebellum houses and churches. The only difference was the Confederate soldier statue faced north, and back in Illinois, the courthouse cannon faced south. There are many more differences, of course, but something essential seems the same: the decency and warmth of small town people in rural places. A relationship between rural and urban, and northern and southern people haunts my short story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas. I am author of Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, a PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention, and Searching for Virginia Dare, a North Carolina Arts Council Notable Book, just released in an expanded edition from Press 53.Recipient of two Pushcart Special Mentions and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, Hudson has published stories, essays, and poems in 5 anthologies and many magazines and journals. She writes on topics ranging from pond fishing to Sufi dancing, from extraordinary dogs to English explorers, from the artist’s life to the life of the monarch butterfly. Much of her work explores the links between history, the human spirit, and the natural world, and reviewers have compared her work to that of Thomas Hardy and Alice Munro.Hudson is a graduate of American University and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. She teaches fiction and nonfiction writing and lectures for the NC Humanities Council Road Scholars on history and creative writing technique.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Accidental Birds of the Carolinas
ISBN: 1935708309

Press 53. 2011

Like birds blown off course, the characters in these stories need a place to roost-somewhere to settle long enough to repair their ragged hearts-and they find it near the banks of the mythical Sissipahaw River. In the centerpiece story, an eighteenth-century Eno Indian tells of the fiery fate of his adopted father, English explorer John Lawson. In the surrounding stories, the age-old conflicts between newcomer and old-timer play out as twenty-first century retirees, carnies, runaways, heartbroken women, and farmers stumble into new lives and new insights in Ambler County, North Carolina. "Hudson's prose is pure as birdsong," says novelist Doris Betts. "These fine stories of change and discovery are a field guide to the human species in transition."

Searching for Virginia Dare: On the Trail of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island
ISBN: 1935708872

Press 53. 2013

Marjorie Hudson continues her search for Virginia Dare, the first English child born on American soil, who disappeared with the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island more than 425 years ago. In this second edition, Hudson takes us deeper into her research and travels, bringing us closer to her discoveries, both old and new.



PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas

Novello Literary Award Finalist, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas

NC Arts Council Fellowship, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas