School staffer receives Southern writers award

April 03, 2007
Pamela Duncan, a staff member of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, has been awarded the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The Institute for Public Health is a unit of the UNC School of Public Health.The award was presented March 30 at the Arts and Education Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga, Tenn. Previous winners include Ron Rash, Silas House, George Scarborough, Charles Frazier and James Still. Duncan is the first woman to receive it.

Duncan recently celebrated the release of her third book “The Big Beautiful,” a sequel to her first novel, “Moon Women.” The new novel tells the story of a middle-aged woman who flees her staid life in the mountains and escapes to the North Carolina coast to discover what she really wants out of life. Duncan’s second novel, “Plant Life,” won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award, North Carolina’s highest honor for a work of fiction.

Duncan was born in Asheville and grew up in Black Mountain, Swannanoa and Shelby, N.C. She earned a bachelor’s in journalism from UNC and a master’s in english/creative writing from N.C. State University. She lives in Saxapahaw and has worked for the School of Public Health since 1985.

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NC Institute for Public Health contact: Bev Holt, (919) 966-6274,

School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, (919) 966-7467,