Yerby, Frank

Yerby, Frank (Garvin)

(1916–91) writer; born in Augusta, Ga. He studied at Paine College (B.A. 1937), Fisk University (M.A. 1938), and at the graduate level at the University of Chicago (1939). He taught English in the South (1939–41), and worked as a laboratory technician (1941–44), and as chief inspector for Fairchild Aircraft in Jamaica, N.Y. (1944–45). He lived in Florida in the early 1950s, before settling in Madrid, Spain in 1955. He first gained recognition for his short stories about racial injustice, but he turned to writing best-selling romantic adventure novels, such as The Foxes of Harrow (1946). The child of a racially mixed couple, he was chided by some African-American critics for not focusing on racial issues, but he did deal with Black Africa in The Dahomean: An Historical Novel (1971).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.