Cecil Dawkins is a North American author primarily of fiction.
She was born in 1927 in Birmingham, Alabama, where she grew to
adulthood. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a
B.A. in English in 1949, she studied at Stanford University, where
she earned her M.A. degree in English Literature in 1953. Her second
year at Stanford she was awarded the Stanford University Creative
Writing Fellowship, (now the Wallace Stegner Fellowship), 1952-1953.
She has held the following academic positions:
Writer in Residence, Stephens College, 1973-1979.
Guest faculty, Sarah Lawrence College, 1979-1981.
Distinguished Visiting Writer, University of Hawaii, 1991.
Calloway/O'Conner Chair Professor, Georgia College,
Milledgeville, GA, 1996-1997.
"The Quiet Enemy," a collection of Dawkins' short stories, was
published by Atheneum in 1963 and was concurrently published by
Andre Deutsch in London. One story in that collection appeared in a
Martha Foley "Best American Short Stories of 1963" collection and
also won an award in Southwest Review and the John H. McGinnis award
for the Best Story in Two Years. Individual stories from this
collection had first appeared in the Paris Review, the Georgia
Review, and the Sewanee Review. "The Quiet Enemy" was reissued in the
Penguin Contemporary American Fiction series, and again, in 1996, by
the Georgia University Press.
During 1966-67, a play in two acts by Dawkins, "The Displaced
Person," based on the stories of Flannery O'Conner "with her
knowledge and input," was produced in New York City by the American
Place Theater. (Dawkins regularly corresponded with O'Connor. A
large number of O'Connor's letters to Dawkins are published in
"Letters of Flannery O'Connor: The Habit of Being," edited by Sally
In 1971, Harper and Row published Dawkins' first novel, "The Live
Goat," winner of the Harper-Saxton Fellowship. Her second novel,
"Charleyhorse," published by Viking in 1985, was reissued by
Penguin in 1986, and again by Allison in 1989.
Dawkins also wrote a series of mystery novels set in
New Mexico, published by Fawcett: "The Santa Fe Rembrandt," 1993;
"Clay Dancers," 1994; "Rare Earth," 1995; and "Turtle Truths," 1997.
In 2002 Dawkins compiled a biography of Frances Martin, aka
Frances Minerva Nunnery, from Martin's tape-recorded reminiscences,
called "A Woman of the Century, Frances Minerva Nunnery (1898-1997):
Her Story in Her Own Memorable Voice as Told to Cecil Dawkins"
(University of New Mexico Press, 2002), with a Foreword by Max Evans
and a Preface and an Afterword by Dawkins.
Dawkins has additionally been awarded the following:
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1966, with an extension for 1967.
National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 1976-1977.
Dawkins now resides in New Mexico.